Date:Thursday December 15 2005
The Championship season has now hit its halfway point for the Clarets, and after 23 games, Burnley find themselves within a couple of points of the playoff places.
After a slow start to the season, picking up just six points from a possible 27, Steve Cotterill's men bounced back in style, occupying the playoff positions until the recent defeats to Leeds and Sheffield United.
They have now taken 32 points from 23 games played, which is even more impressive when you consider the fixtures they have played away from Turf Moor.
The Clarets have travelled to the likes of Sheffield United, Leeds, league leaders Reading, Wolves, Crystal Palce, Preston, Luton and Southampton, taking a respectable points tally from those matches.
The position seems all the more intriguing when you consider apart from Sheffield United and Leeds, the rest have to travel to Turf Moor in the second half of the season, placing Burnley's chances of making a playoff challenge firmly in their own hands.
Burnley have been inspired by the form of the current Championship top scorer Ade Akinbiyi, who at this time has 11 league goals under his belt, proving himself to be a good piece of business by Cotterill in the latter half of last season.
There have been some setbacks already this season, with new signing Wayne Thomas and Welsh international goalkeeper Danny Coyne sustaining long term injuries, although the former has made speedier than expected progress since his injury, though he is still some way from making his comeback to first team affairs.
The loan signings of Keith Lowe from Wolves, and Nathan Dyer from Southampton have proved key in the season so far for the Clarets, and January also poses the possiblity of signings with the transfer window.
Provided the squad, one of the thinnest in the league, can stay clear of more long term injuries, the keeping together of the squad in the window, and the possibility of a couple of signings, permanent or loan, then Burnley's second half of the 05/06 season could well be an exciting one.
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|3. Leicester City||19||12||2||5||+10||38|
|4. Derby County||19||10||4||5||+14||34|
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