Manager Says-Clarets 0-0 Luton
Every Clarets fan, whether you are part of the 'Cotterill Out' brigade or not must be wondering what the lad's inner thoughts must be after this awful dire, match. An awful,dire match which by general consensus was a 'must win game' and one that we didnt win as we scrapped a point in a 0-0 draw.
The only consolation as we dropped to 19th place, was that most of the clubs behind us failed to win but its simply just not good enough. Relegation fears could have been significantly eased had we managed to win this match. The biggest concern however was the woeful performance against dire opposition and one wonders how we can raise spirits and get some confidence back into the team.
You just cant see how we can turn this round and we face some very difficult games in April against most of the top teams including Birmingham, WBA, Cardiff and Sunderland. Not to mention also a tricky away match against a resurgent Leeds.
What is happening to our club? How can we be in this situation after being in the hunt for promotion for most of the first part of the season?
The most vocal of fans of course blame Cotterill for our plight and want him out. Well lets not get into that argument again!
I defy anybody however to answer with certainity how, effectively the same set of players (plus squad additions since) now play such awful football compared to Aug-Nov 06. All we ask surely is that these same set of players return to the style,confidence and skill they had up to and including the Leeds match, our last win back in November 06. All we ask too is that particularly Ade Akinbiyi returns to the form he had during his first spell with the Clarets. Maybe we also ask Andy Gray to start hitting the back of the net again too!
Very tense and frustrating times for all Clarets fans.
Come on Steve, turn this round. I dont know how but I dont want to go to many more matches with fan-against-fan debating Steve's fate and having to listen to awful venomous,abusive remarks chucked at both manager, team and specific players.
For what its worth,here is what Steve had to say about the Luton match but I suspect most of the 'Cotterill Out' brigade will neither be interested, believe anything that is said and will put it all down to running out of excuses. You would be hard put to defend against that sentiment after Saturday's result:
'I thought Luton came here not to get beat, with a 4-5-1 and an isolated striker.
'That allowed us to pin them back in the first half, when we knocked on the door a little without knocking it down.
'I thought the first half performance was ok, nothing more. The second half was more of the problem, I felt.
'In the second half we looked a little bit scared and they came into the game more.'
Cotterill had the following to say about of new loans making their debuts
'I thought both players had decent debuts.
'Towards the end of the game they were getting a little leggy, but I thought Coughlan and Caldwell looked solid back there and I thought McVeigh had a couple of chances he may feel he could have done better with.
'But they are added to our squad for the rest of the season and we're delighted to have them.'
Steve also explained the situation regarding Wade Elliott and James O'Connor both dropped from the starting eleven
'You can only pick 16 players and Wade hasn't scored a lot of goals for us.
'Today we just went for some fresh faces that maybe wouldn't have felt the pressure some of the others might be feeling.
'I thought James had dipped for a few games.
'Everyone knows what I think of him, but we have the advantage of sitting down after the game and analysing things on DVD and I didn't feel he had as mush of an impact as I would like against Southend and Preston.
'Coupled with him being on nine bookings, that was the decision.'
The Clarets also tried a change in kit and wore white shorts and socks, rather than their usual all-claret effort!
'We changed it just as a one-off just to try something, explained Steve
'You are allowed one change a season and we just did it to see if it worked. You go into everything don't you and we will go into everything we can to try to get that win.'
Like everything we try at the moment from the simplest to the most complex change nothing is working for the lads and the whole thing is depressing