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Burnley vs. Scunthorpe United

Turf Moor

Christmas Bank Holiday Tuesday 28th December 2010


Clarets Hoping to be Iron Mighty

Burnley play Scunthorpe United at Turf Moor on Christmas Bank Holiday Tuesday 28th December (Kick-Off 3pm) just two days after getting their first league away win of the season against Barnsley at Oakwell on Boxing Day Sunday. It goes without saying, our first back-to-back win under Brian Laws in the league, is now the next target.

The Pre-amble

The Clarets should be on a high after the tonic of picking up their first three points on the road this season on Boxing Day not to mention the fact this was the first time they had beaten Barnsley at Oakwell since April 1932. With hoodoos and taboos tumbling, we now need to continue our form over the festive period and with two home games up next we have the ideal opportunity.

Brian Laws now faces his former club, Scunthorpe United. Laws spent nearly ten years at Glanford Park before going on to manage Sheffield Wednesday in November 2006. Graham Alexander and Martin Paterson too also have connections with the club having both played for the Iron earlier in their career.

It is vital for Laws that we win and win convincingly or all the 'Laws Out` chants and banners will resurface. Anything other than three points would be seen as failure and could severely dent our promotion hopes and confidence.

Burnley are currently in eighth spot and a win against Scunthorpe could propel the Clarets into one of the play-offs spots with an ideal opportunity to then consolidate their position on News Years Day when they play Sheffield United at home. We are just two points off sixth placed, Coventry and now have a two game advantage over the Sky Blues. All the clubs above the Clarets have in fact played at least one game more.

Scunthorpe on the other hand have struggled this season although they have suffered the most recently in terms of losing momentum from postponed games. They are currently second from bottom on 20 points from 20 games. Scunthorpe manager, Ian Baraclough though will be desperate to get them out of the relegation zone. Scunthorpe`s away performance has been pretty good however this season. They have picked up five wins and lost five on the road in their ten games so far with no draws at all. They are however on a terrible run of form at the moment having lost their last five matches whilst conceding at least two goals in each of those games including their last two away !

Weather Watch

The club announced today they were trying everything they could to try and ensure this game went ahead safely. Groundstaff at Burnley Football Club are battling against the snow and ice to ensure tomorrow's match against Scunthorpe United is not postponed.

Snow ploughs were drafted in by Clarets this morning, with more wintry showers predicted tonight.

They also have issues related to burst pipes in the toilets and on the concourses but are hoping to resolve these problems ahead of the game. Facilities manager Doug Metcalfe said:

"Like every ground, we are experiencing problems with burst pipes and flooding.

"But we are working all hours to ensure the game goes ahead with as little inconvenience as possible to supporters.

"We anticipated these problems, but the major problem is these leaks.

"This may mean we have reduced capacity for toilets, but every effort is being made to make things as safe and supporter-friendly as possible."

Burnley Team News:

Danny Fox is understood to be fully fit after recovering from his ankle injury but he is unlikely to regain the left back spot with Brian Easton in such good form.

Martin Paterson too was understood to be close to a return after missing the last five games following an injury picked up in the home game against Doncaster Rovers back in November. Paterson has been suffering from a troublesome thigh problem but it remains to be seen if he will be in contention to play against his former club.

There have been no further announcements of any further injuries following the Barnsley game so it looks like Laws has virtually the complete squad to choose from except for Chris McCann and the players out on loan.

Kevin McDonald is now also back at the club after a loan spell at Scunthorpe but he is unlikely to feature .However he could be useful to tap for knowledge concerning Scunthorpe`s weaknesses and likely tactics.

Player to watch: John Guidetti

Guidetti scored on his full debut against Barnsley on Boxing Day. He seemed to struggle initially and it was clear he needed more competitive games to return to full match fitness. Nevertheless he contributed well in the end so hopefully Laws will reward him with yet another starting eleven spot to improve his level of fitness and confidence.

Scunthorpe United Team News:

Scunthorpe defender David Mirfin looks set to return following a foot injury

Josh Wright, Michael O'Connor and Chris Dagnall have also all recovered from a bug doing the rounds

Defenders Michael Raynes (thigh), Jim McNulty (ankle) and Niall Canavan (knee) though are set to remain sidelined.

Player to watch: Michael O'Connor

Scunthorpe`s leading goal scorer in the Championship is 23 year old Northern Ireland international midfielder, Michael O`Connor with five goals in the League to date. Scunthorpe signed him from Crewe Alexandra in July 2009 for an undisclosed fee.

Team & Tactics

On the premise you don`t change a winning side, Brian Laws could be tempted to select the same eighteen he put out against Barnsley on Boxing Day. Everybody seems to have come through that game uninjured and their confidence levels could be high as we seek our first back-to-back win of the season.

It could be bad news then for leading goal scorer, Chris Iwelumo. John Guidetti was given his chance at Oakwell partnering Jay Rodriguez up front with the out-of-form Iwelumo relegated to the bench. The pairing worked well together and they could be given their chance to shine again.

I have to say if Laws is considering making changes then perhaps he should considering dropping Graham Alexander and Clarke Carlisle who both had pretty poor games on Boxing Day Sunday.

Michael Duff must be wondering what he has to do to get into the starting eleven and maybe it is now time to give him a run out in partnership with Bikey in the centre of defence. Dean Marney too could provide the necessary pace we need from midfield, something which Grezza seems to be sadly lacking these days. That said it was his passing game that also deserted the captain against the Tykes.

The problem with dropping both Grezza and Carlisle though is that we lose both captain and vice-captain which could mean Elliott taking over the armband again.

I would put out the following in 4-4-2 formation:

Grant, Mears, Duff, Bikey, Easton, Elliott, Cork, Marney, Eagles, Rodriguez, Guidetti

Subs: Jensen, Carlisle, Edgar, Alexander, Wallace, Iwelumo, Thompson (or Paterson if fit)

Ref Watch:

Northamptonshire referee, Andy Woolmer is in charge of this one. He has been a National List referee since 2004 which was some twenty years after he first started refereeing at age sixteen. Woolmer has been in charge of 16 games at Championship level or below this season, handing out 3 reds and 39 yellow cards.

Match Prediction:

Well, come on Brian, let`s get our first back-to-back win this season and beat Scunthorpe convincingly. 4-0 Clarets! If we do win another unwanted record will tumble. We have lost our last five end-of-season games but after winning on Boxing Day at Oakwell anything can now happen!

Next Match

Games are coming thick and fast now with Sheffield United the visitors to Turf Moor next up on New Year`s Day, Saturday 1st January 2011 (Kick-Off 3pm)

The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 28 2010

Time: 12:28AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Secretly hoping the game is posponed since I won't be able to make it but if it goes ahead come on you Clarets!
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28/12/2010 00:30:00
Club have confirmed game on so I miss my first home game of season! :-( [Edited by turfmanphil]
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28/12/2010 11:16:00
You keeping the front page updated tmp?
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28/12/2010 14:19:00
Aye will do! Team News, no change-Grant, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Easton, Elliott, Cork, Alexander, Wallace, Guidetti, Rodriguez Subs: Jensen, Duff, Edgar, Marney, Eagles, Iwelumo, Thompson
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 14:20:00
Okay I will cover the Matchday Mayham ;-)
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28/12/2010 14:22:00
In some ways glad the same team plays but a little worried about tired legs, but then if some suffer very fresh legs are available, but then I am worried that BL will make the right subs, but then I am sure we will win convincingly anyway. What a but.
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28/12/2010 14:57:00
Pathetic 1-0 Scunthorpe, Woolford 15 mins after some sustained Iron pressure. Come on get a grip
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 15:21:00
Dear oh dear, play off contenders v relegation prospects. Someone is having a laugh and it is not me.
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28/12/2010 15:52:00
Absolute dross,poor service to strikers,long ball,cant keep it on the deck no passing game! 5th time in 6 games at home we go 1-0 down and it remains 1-0 to Iron at half-time! They had a goal chalked off for offside too.Sorry Laws has to go and now! Scunthorpe second from bottom FFS. [Edited by turfmanphil] [Edited by turfmanphil]
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 15:54:00
Is that Sorry Laws has to go or are you sorry Laws has to go TMP? Either way I have to agree even if we turn it round second half.
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28/12/2010 16:04:00
I'm sick of us going behind to one and all - our defence is crap. When did we last keep a clean sheet? We need to get rid of Laws if we are to have any chance of the play-offs this year. I don't want a big name, just an up and coming young manager like Coyle was. He then needs to get in some decent defenders. Laws got rid of Caldwell and Jordan but they were better than what we have now in my opinion. Ah well, at least we are winning the Ashes!
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 16:08:00
Both apply although I meant 'Sorry,Laws has to go'. Eagles on for Elliott, but surely Wallace has been the weaker on the flank?
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28/12/2010 16:10:00
Chris Iwelumo on for Guidetti. Come on you Clarets FFS, this is embarrassing!
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28/12/2010 16:20:00
Thommo on for Wallace 20 mins to go and we are still woeful. Jay Rod goes out wide
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28/12/2010 16:38:00
Scunthorpe 2-0.Right Kilby have the balls to get shut of Laws NOW!!
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28/12/2010 16:50:00
Why are we so inconsistent it is unbelievable, utter garbage this afternoon.
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28/12/2010 16:55:00
Third home defeat of season and an utter disgrace! There can be absolutely no excuses for this abject performance. The blind faithers and glass-half fullers cant keep supporting this dross we are playing under Laws. We need a new start under a new manager and before we play the Blades! 'Laws Out' ringing round the ground and many many more thinking the same. Kilby you made a mistake in appointing Laws on the cheap for all the wrong reasons and you know it, now own up you made one and do something about it!! I cant keep taking this bullshit! [Edited by turfmanphil]
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28/12/2010 17:02:00
Not going to say who, but somebody has to go. Back to Sheffield, back to Scunthorpe, back on the dole, who cares where, BUT GO.
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28/12/2010 17:02:00
Surprisingly Burnley 9th, I am lost for words :-(
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28/12/2010 17:14:00
How about. If you are an honourable man BL, and I have no doubt that you are, RESIGN. Will that do 8c8?
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28/12/2010 18:02:00
It just means 8c8 we are one of a number of mediocre clubs when by now we should be standing out from the crowd! We never will under Laws, surely enough folk can now smell the coffee?
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28/12/2010 18:02:00
I have to agree, surely Phil Brown ain't the way forward? get some cash out for O'Driscoll, O'Neil? put Rocky in charge it is getting that bad ;-) S.O.C, save our Clarets!!!
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 18:32:00
What's that smell ? Nescafe if I'm not mistaken . We really needed to beat this mediocre team but it sounded as if we were worse than mediocre. Mr Nice Guy doesn't really have it does he ? Hughton is the man 8c8, going to be an interesting few weeks I think, or less ?
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 18:51:00
I still think the Board will stick by BL until we have no chance of a play off place, if only to save paying him off. Only hope he will resign.
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28/12/2010 19:04:00
I have just read the garbage uttered by BL on the BFC website. He says it is his responsibility to deliver on a regular basis, in my opininion he just never has. He then says everyone has to do it, BUT NOT HIM, as he then says we can't carry eleven below par players. get rid of him Kilby and sue the accountants who recommended him.
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28/12/2010 19:16:00
Been back now about an hour. An abject performance from most of the players and I would be absolutely astounded if, on that showing, the Directors didn't now make a change at the top. Frankly, the only reason so many people were left in the ground at the end of the game was that most wanted to stay around to holler ' Laws Out' at the end. Even if Laws stays at the helm he will never forget the reception he received today and I doubt he will ever recover from that. No-one likes to see someone hounded out of their job but it is time for a new voice in the dressing room now. God help us if they choose Graham Alexander - he was atrocious this afternoon. By the way, SOD was in the director's box today - though I reckon that was just because Doncaster didn't have a game and, though we don't play them for a few weeks, he was on a bit of a spying mission.
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28/12/2010 19:29:00
Hughton a good shout, you do wonder though whether we will now get rid of Laws? and the players have their part to blame in it all as well, this squad should be winning week in week out, it's a tough call but Laws does need to go.
Report Abuse
28/12/2010 19:36:00
Some rumours flying around that Laws has been called to a post-match Board meeting with a view to leaving by mutual consent
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28/12/2010 19:44:00
That was the worst I've seen us play in a long time. We were awful, Scunny were not that good we were just woeful. Not one player had a decent game. Laws has got to go I'm afraid! Its time for a change, the fans are on his back all the time the players don't look up for games, its time he went.
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28/12/2010 22:30:00
I have to say, with the boards past record, who's to say they won't go with the second most successful manager on a tight budget!!!!! Would love to see them go after Chris Hughton
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28/12/2010 22:35:00
Laws isn't the only one to blame. That was a game played by some big time numpties in claret and blue. Do they need some kind of shock therapy before they go out.
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28/12/2010 23:51:00
Hope your rumour is right tmp, and let's hope they've got Hughton in their sights.
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28/12/2010 23:57:00
If they don't get rid now, the only useful thing to do is vote with your feet. Fans deserve much better. How about setting up a new manager poll! Phil Brown would be a dire choice, though live half time team talks do sound interesting. I knew this was coming.
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29/12/2010 02:19:00
We just need some new energy and remove the root of the problem. From where I am sitting tango-man could do a job for us. He does have at least the ability to get a club promoted and keep them in the top flight for at least one season. I'd take a punt on him but if we could get someone even higher profile eg Chris Hughton, I would be even more ecstatic. What we must not do, is do things on the cheap again and if that means paying compendation to get the manager we really want than so-be-it
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29/12/2010 08:49:00

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