That Was The Clarets Week That Was!
It has been a thought-provoking week for the Clarets and their fans. A midweek game against Barnet at Turf Moor in the second round of the Carling Cup eventually ended in victory 3-2 but once again in this competition we struggled against League 2 opposition at home surrendering a two goal lead and needing extra time to secure a passage into the next round.
We now also know who we face in the third round after once again being given a home tie following Saturday`s draw. This time we face high-flying League 1 club, MK Dons; a side buoyed up of course following their crushing 4-0 victory over a weakened Premier League Norwich at Carrow Road in midweek.
Some Clarets, your editor included were a little downcast to say the least on the evidence of Tuesday night`s performance against Barnet. Our defence again seemed to be our weakest area and with no clean sheets all season and still no win in the Championship after three attempts, it was a pretty daunting prospect to then travel to Pride Park this Saturday to play Derby County. The Rams in second spot had been undefeated in their four league games with just one goal conceded in the Championship.
It is always nice to eat 'humble pie` though and be proven wrong and your editor has certainly done that over the weekend following a stunning 2-1 away victory. It was certainly a great way to win your first Championship game of the season with the international break coming up. Now let`s keep up the momentum and get our first home win of the season in the league with Middlesbrough the visitors a week on Saturday.
Talking about the international break, our congratulations also go out to David Edgar, Keith Treacy and Alex MacDonald who have all been called up by their countries, Canada, Republic of Ireland and the Scotland U21s respectively. Full details are provided elsewhere on Vital Burnley.
So what else has happened this week?
Well we now have a new date for our clash at St Andrews against Birmingham City. The original fixture was scheduled for the night of Tuesday 16th August but that was hastily postponed before the season even kicked off thanks to Birmingham`s exploits in the group stages of the Europa League Cup competition. The Blues first European home game in nearly 50 years ended in success on Thursday night this week after they dumped Nacional out of the competition following a 3-0 aggregate win. Brum had drawn 0-0 in Portugal a week previously. Clarets fans will be hoping all the games will be piling up for Birmingham by the time we play them at St Andrews in November. The game will now be played on the night of Tuesday 22nd November (Kick-Off: 7:45pm)
It was a quiet week for the Clarets on the transfer front with no new signings although Eddie Howe has once again indicated that we could have two-three targets in before the transfer window closes. No names of course are being mentioned although defender, Ryan Shotton from Stoke City and West Ham`s winger cum striker, Junior Stanislas have been strongly linked. Shotton though now seems to be an integral part of Tony Pulis`s plans and he could be reluctant to part with the long-throw expert unless Stoke can bring in some new signings of their own with just four days of the transfer window remaining. With Burnley desperately needing to strengthen the defence following the loss of Duff to injury, if they fail in their attempt to sign Shotton, they could turn their attention to West Brom central defender, Craig Dawson although only a loan looks a possibility at the moment. It is not the first time we have been linked with the 21 year old, former Rochdale defender and the locally born player may well relish a return to the North West.
We did let one player leave Turf Moor this week but only on loan. SPL club, St Mirren signed young Development squad midfielder, Joe McKee on loan until January. International clearance was given later during the week and he was therefore eligible to play against Celtic today (Sunday). At the time of writing, the Saints were 2-0 down at home to the Buoys with McKee named on the bench.
There was also an intriguing Reserves game this week against local rivals Preston. This was the first game of the season for the Clarets but sadly for Burnley the second-string started the new season how they finished the last one, with a home defeat against Preston after losing 2-1 to the reigning Central League champions. The game though had plenty of interest with three trialists on show. One of them Anthony Ihou, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder from Nantes helped set up our opening goal. He picked out Dominic Knowles, who squared for Wilson to round off the move and put the Clarets 1-0 up. Both our full backs were also trialists with Burnley assessing the potential of Anthony Glover and Ellis Deeney. Preston equalised on the half-hour when Darel Russell crossed for Michael McLellan to head past Jon Stewart and they then took the lead three minutes into the second half when Juvhel Tsoumou controlled Russell's ball forward and drilled home.
Our third string keeper signed from Bournemouth in the summer then began to show his worth denying Preston the chance to go further ahead on a number of occasions. He first saved a penalty from Tsoumou after Deeney brought down Seanan Clucas in the box. Stewart then had to parry away an attempt from Adam Barton effort before saving Craig Morgan's bullet header from a corner by Mayor. The impressive keeper than went on to deny McLellan a brace following a one-on-one.
Burnley Line-Up: Jon Stewart, Alex Coleman, Anthony Glover, Tom Anderson, Ellis Deeney; Anthony Ihou (Mehdi Lazaar 67), Steve Hewitt, David Lynch (Archie Love 76), Ross Wilson (Seamus McCartan 80, Dominic Knowles, Alex MacDonald.
Subs not used: Josh Cook, Aryn Williams