Date:Friday January 26 2007
Does it ever happen to you? Do you have one of those days where everything seems to go pear shape and you have a sense of foreboding when you sit down for the match?
Tuesday was like that, it was perfect up to lunch time with the great news of Joey Gudjonsson signing with the prospect of at least another two possible signings in the Jan window. The real ale in the 'Jolly Sailor' also warmed the cockles of my heart as I looked forward to seeing up to four players make their home debuts in the night match against Stoke.
So I went back to Mums wondering how I would kill the next few hours before setting off for a pre-match session in 'The Lounge'
So after watching 'Deal or No Deal'-hell I need to see a Doctor-I set off and then everything went down hill from there!
Took ages to get to Burnley, lost count how many traffic lights were on red and I am sure a few geriatric drivers had forgotten this was Tuesday not Sunday!
Itching to get in the pub, I first tried to pick up my ticket from the new Lottery office. It was closed, so I had to carry out the ritual of explaining the situation to the staff in the normal ticket office! Er Im a foundation member my ticket is probably upstairs since the Lottery Office is shut!
Was she wearing an hearing-aid? 15 minutes later after giving my name about six times and explaining how I spelt my name,Lea not Lee, she finally understood that the pile of tickets at the back of the counter would not contain mine.
IT WILL BE UPSTAIRS I SAID
What was your name again?
By the way it was upstairs and I think about 3 members of staff were involved in proving it!
Right thats one pint gone, lets pick up a Proggy. No problem there although they didnt have the Barnsley away one to complete my collection. At least I dont think so, since they have a ridiculous random,mixed up pile of proggies behind the shop counter which takes about 20 minutes to wade through, I gave up 2 minutes in!
So I can relax now , over to the Lounge!
'Excuse me, Im next' Sorry Sir there are 23 to serve before you!' said the one solitary barmaid!
Eventually someone turned up who I knew and he first said 'You know I cant get excited about this match'
By then I was thinking yep, we are doomed,doomed!
There was something not quite right with the atmosphere at this game. I think it had something to do with the eerie silence in the closed Cricket Field Stand and the fact that the Stokies had been shepherded into the sacred Jimmy Mac Lower. Just didnt seem right. Mind you at least you couldnt hear them from where we were sitting (NU3)
Of course, that funny feeling of doom at the start of the match proved to be the case but I dont think anybody expected such a woeful performance. I wont reiterate the match details again that is adequately covered by the Vital Match Report and The Manager Says.
The question is where does this now leave us, with only 38 points and still 12 points away from safety. If we continue to play like that then we will be back in a relegation fight. The new boys and hopefully the other intimated signings will have to quickly slot into the team and start performing despite a lack of match practice for a number of them.
It would be such a shame if after all the recent transfer news and support from the Board that our season yet again falls apart!
Have we blown any chance of reaching the play-offs? It doesnt look good and our next game is away to high flying Derby although it would be typical Clarets if somehow we nicked the match and came away with three points.
If yet again we finish midtable, what will be the repercussions especially in relation to Steve Cotterill? Will the Board continue to support him after all their investment? I hope so. Will the fans start asking serious questions or will they be content for another season at least? Thats a difficult one, if we dont reach the play-offs I suspect we will have to finish in the Top 10 at least to keep most of the fans happy.
For myself personally although its been a grim few days up North, I have been delighted by the stance that the Board and Steve Cotterill have been taking in relation to 'walking the ambition talk'. Bringing in the new faces and not letting our assets go (Lafferty) should be wholeheartedly supported and the calculated risks involved applauded.
Lets just hope this miserable game was a one off and we can soon return to winning ways with a consistent,passsionate and exciting display of football.
Up the Clarets!
Date:Friday January 26 2007
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