No Pain, No Game!
The Clarets were not in action yesterday after their scheduled game against Portsmouth at Fratton Park was postponed in midweek due to the inclement weather. Some Championship games though did go ahead so we review what this meant for our standing in the League table.
With snow and icy conditions across the country, a number of Championship games over the weekend were postponed in addition to our clash down in Hampshire.
The other games that did not go ahead were as follows:
Doncaster v Barnsley
Nottingham Forest v Bristol City
Hull City v QPR
Sheffield United v Reading
So with league leaders, QPR not in action, all eyes were on second-place, Cardiff City. On paper they seemed to have an easy game ahead playing bottom club Preston at home. A win would have seen the Bluebirds move to within two points of QPR whilst opening up a 10 point gap over the Clarets. Burnley fans therefore might have been forgiven for hoping our Lancashire rivals would do us a favour down in Cardiff and blow me they nearly did. With 90 minutes on the clock at 1-0 up, Preston thought they had done enough to secure their first away win of the season .On-loan striker Michael Tonge had thumped home a free kick on 26 minutes but in the end they could not hold on. Andy Keogh rescued an unlikely point for Cardiff City in injury time to make the final score 1-1.
The rest of the chasing pack in the play-offs positions had mixed fortunes. The other Welsh club in this league, Swansea enjoyed a 3-1 victory against Ipswich at Portman Road. Roy Keane`s men appear to be in freefall and they have gone five games on the bounce now without picking up a single point. The win for Swansea though ensures they keep in touch with their Welsh rivals and they remain third on 36 points, seven more that Burnley but having played a game more.
Coventry beat relegation-threatened Middlesbrough 1-0 at the Ricoh Arena to move into fifth spot on 33 points just behind Norwich on goal difference. The Canaries too continued their good run of form with a 2-1 away victory over Derby County at Pride Park. The defeat saw the Rams slip to 7th spot on 30 points.
The Clarets are scheduled to play Leeds United at Turf Moor next Saturday and until yesterday`s games they were just ahead of them in 7th spot on goal difference. Leeds were at home to lowly Crystal Palace yesterday and they looked to be heading towards a shock home defeat with just ten minutes of the game remaining. Neil Danns had side-footed home just before half-time to put the visitors ahead but Luciano Becchio then got a late brace of goals in the 81st and 83rd minute to delight the home crowd and stretch Leeds unbeaten run to seven matches.
The victory saw them move into sixth spot 3 points ahead of the Clarets. Burnley will clearly have to stop them in their tracks next Saturday and a victory would see us go ahead of them on goal difference with a game in hand.
All-in-all then, it was a mixed day for Clarets fortunes but one that did not cause too much damage. We slipped just one place to 8th, 3 points off the play-offs with a game in hand over all the clubs above us except QPR. It could have been worse; we might have failed to win away yet again if the Pompey match had gone ahead and been in the same place without the game advantage.