March Win & April Show Us!
If ever there was a 'must-win' game its the one coming up this Saturday against Luton at Turf Moor. Burnley,struggling without a win now in 18 games and only 2 points clear of the third from bottom relegation spot will be desperate to get three points out of this match against the Hatters; themselves struggling and in the relegation zone, currently five points behind the Clarets.
Nothing less than three points will suffice and a loss will put increasing pressure on Steve Cotterill. An increasing number of frustrated, impatient fans are already calling for the head of our manager despite recent improvements in form. Our luck will also have to change to improve team confidence and this is one of those games where both teams are likely to be nervous with the potential for the match to be a scrappy,tense affair. If we dont win this match, it will be interesting to see if the Board make any announcements in relation to our manager and whether he will survive.
So far this month it has been case of March showers rather than the winds and thunderstorms of the earlier months and some improvements in performance have clearly been made but with little reward. It would also help if we could avoid injuries and bad luck in the back four area as we await the return of Wayne Thomas, Steve Caldwell, Stephen Foster and John McGreal all currently on the injured list! At least we now have some cover with the arrival of loan central defender, Coughlan from Sheffield Wednesday last week.
Lets all hope and pray we can win against Luton, anything else is not worth thinking about and I dread to think what our chances would then be of surviving even if we do have games in hand over most of the pack in the relegation zone and a vastly superior goal difference. Heads will drop and confidence will fall even more if we dont win this one.
So then onto April, a very busy month with lots of rearranged matches to remember and Easter to contend with. Its so confusing Vital Burnley FC thought it might be a good idea to spell the fixtures out for the month of April so everybody is clear. So we are April 'showing you' the situation as two earlier postponed home matches against Norwich and Plymouth come up this month together with two April matches changed thanks to Sky TV featuring the games.
The televised matches will be against WBA at the Turf on Monday 23rd April followed only four days later by Sunderland away on Friday 27th April.
In summary therefore here are the April fixtures:
Plymouth(H): Tuesday 3rd April @ 7:45pm
Birmingham(A): Saturday 7th April @ 3pm
Cardiff(H): Monday 9th April @ 3pm
Leeds United(A): Saturday 14th April @ 3pm
Norwich(H): Tuesday 17th April @ 7:45pm
WBA(H): Monday 23rd April @ 7:45pm
Sunderland(A): Friday 27th April @ 7:45pm
Thats 7 matches in a month and no Saturday home match!
Thankfully with Luton at home this Saturday and Coventry at home in our final match on Sunday 6th May, we at least have six home games out of a possible nine in the run-in. This could prove crucial as we attempt to avoid relegation and finish as high as possible up the table after a torrid season to date. Who would possibly have predicted that after our Top 6 performance in the months of August-November we would now find ourselves in this plight! Its very hard to come to terms with as a Clarets fan, although lets face it, if does tend to happen a lot to this club if you look at our history. How many times have we plummeted in the second half of the season? We were doing this as far back as I can remember from the mid sixties onwards.
Come on its our turn to shout about something now, if there is a God, which I very much doubt come and help on Saturday!
Praying at the moment is all we seem to have left!