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Burnley vs. Queens Park Rangers

Turf Moor

Saturday 15th January 2011

3pm

QPR next up! Can we beat the League leaders?

League leaders, QPR come to Turf Moor on Saturday and the Clarets will be desperate to get their promotion campaign back on track after a break to concentrate on the FA Cup.

The Pre-amble

The Clarets are already 13 points behind league leaders, Queens Park Rangers although do have a game in hand over them. If they still have any ambitions of automatic promotion then a win over Neil Warnock`s men on Saturday will be crucial. A play-offs spot though is looking a more reasonable target at this stage with the Clarets currently tenth on 35 points from 24 games. They simply have to win on Saturday anyway to keep in contention and hopefully then under a new manager start to play with some consistency and put together a good run. We are already four points adrift of the play-offs with Watford currently sixth on 39 points having played the same number of games as the Clarets.

Watford of course are managed by Malky MacKay, one of our supposed targets to be our new manager. Sky Sports broke the news yesterday that we had approached Watford to speak to MacKay although there is no official confirmation from the club yet and the Hornets chairman has already made it plain such an approach would be unwelcome.

Stuart Gray, as caretaker manager has already played out his allotted three games, so the Clarets aim must surely be to have the new manager done & dusted and in place by the time we face QPR on Saturday. There is certainly no guarantee though we can achieve that aim. Paul Lambert at Norwich has already turned us down and MacKay could follow suit leaving about four others on the short-list to look at with St Johnstone manager, Derek McInnes and Bournemouth gaffer, Eddie Howe believed to be high up on the list of candidates the club want to interview.

It is anybody`s guess then who will be in the dugout on Saturday and it could still be Stuart Gray. We will just have to see how things develop this week.

Queens Park Rangers may be top of the Championship at the moment but their performances of late leave a lot to be desired with consistency being the main problem. They have lost three of their last six league games winning only two. In terms of their away form they have achieved only one win in six although have also picked up three draws on the road. The Rs also come to Turf Moor having been knocked out of the FA Cup by East Lancashire rivals, Blackburn Rovers in their last match. The 1-0 defeat was bad enough but they also lost Jamie Mackie after a serious leg break so they could be on a low when they face the Clarets.

Burnley Team News:

This article is being written a little bit earlier than usual so we will bring you regular updates if there is any subsequent team news. At the moment though, it looks like we have come through unscathed following the FA Cup Port Vale game with no new injury worries.

A week ago the club informed everybody that Martin Paterson was a 'week away` from being fit after being sidelined since the Doncaster home game back in November so he might make an appearance against QPR on Saturday.

Our only injury at the moment then appears to be Chris McCann who is still recovering from the corrective surgery last year to fix his cruciate ligament problem..

Player to watch: Wade Elliott

Elliott seems to be blowing hot and cold based on recent performances but maybe that`s because they can`t decide whether to play him out on the wing or inside midfield. I still prefer him out on the wing where he looks far more comfortable and effective.

Queens Park Rangers Team News:

One player who definitely won`t be playing this Saturday is the unfortunate striker Jamie Mackie. He collided badly with Blackburn`s Gael Givet in their FA cup clash on Saturday picking up a double fracture of the leg. It`s always sad to lose a player in those circumstances but for the Clarets it will certainly be one less worry. Mackie is always a danger and has 9 league goals to his credit already this season.

Striker, Patrick Agyemang will also be out of the running to replace him. He could be out for three months after recently picking up a stress fracture to his right leg.

Centre back, Matthew Connolly will also be sidelined. The 23 year old former Arsenal player picked up a straight red in the recent game away to Ipswich.

Player to watch: Adel Taarabt

The 21 year-old, Moroccan international midfielder is currently QPR`s leading goal scorer this season. Taarabt has 12 league goals to his name and is currently 5th in the Npower Championship Top Scorers table. He was on loan from Tottenham Hotspur for a couple of spells before they signed him permanently in August 2010 on a 3 year contract for a fee of 600k with add-ons. He is certainly a handful. If you keep Taarabt quiet, you keep QPR quiet so that should be a top target to try and achieve this Saturday.

Team & Tactics

At the time of writing, the managerial vacancy has still not been resolved so it is not clear if we will have a new manager at the helm by the time Burnley and QPR walk onto the pitch this Saturday. Stuart Gray has already taken charge of the three games he was originally allocated as caretaker manager but could still be in charge if no managerial announcements are made this week.

It is virtually impossible to second-guess then the team and tactics for this one although even a new manager is unlikely to do anything radical in his first game in charge until he gets to know his players.

Gray reverted back to 4-5-1 for the cup game against Port Vale and the team had a familiar Laws feel about it. One thing we really need to get sorted is our defence, especially in the centre of the back four. Duff and Carlisle have struggled in recent games and it is perhaps time to bring back Andre Bikey into the starting eleven. David Edgar was brought to the club as a centre back too but we seem to have played him anywhere but there in the handful of appearances he has made for the club! I think radical changes need to be made in the centre of defence but I just don`t think Gray will be up for doing that or a new manager until he assesses the players. The truth is we need to strengthen our defence and bring in new players in the January window. I just hope we will have time to do that. One dilemma facing any manager could be whether to start left back,Danny Fox ahead of Brian Easton. Fox has now fully recovered from his injury and was chosen ahead of Easton for the FA Cup game against the Valiants.

Another area of concern is the keeper. Grant has singularly failed to keep a clean sheet since replacing Jensen after the 4-0 home defeat to Reading back in October. He has also recently made a few costly errors, notably parrying instead of punching the ball away to safety. It had been thought the transfer-listed Jensen might have been given a starting eleven place in the FA Cup game against Port Vale last Saturday but Gray stubbornly stuck with Grant suggesting the Beast`s days are definitely numbered unless a new manager can rescue the situation and persuade Jensen to stay.

Steven Thompson must also be wondering what he has to do to get a regular starting eleven place after making a statement that he wants to stay at the club and test the water under a new manager. Gray gave him a chance against Reading at the Madejski but he was back on the bench for the Port Vale game. Chris Iwelumo seems to be playing indifferently at the moment and it is worrying that he continues to be strapped up suggesting he might be carrying an injury. His heading and shooting accuracy also seemed to desert the Scot in the FA Cup tie. We have been told by the club for about the last two months that Paterson is 'a week away` from being in contention following a thigh injury. Even if he is now fully fit, he might struggle to automatically get back into the team with a bench appearance being the most likely at first.

With no news of any further injuries following the Port Vale cup match, the manager whoever that might be, could have the luxury of virtually a complete squad to choose from (except for McCann and the players out on loan)

I suspect whoever is in charge, we will select the same eighteen that faced Port Vale and play the same 4-5-1 formation. It is the easy option but in my opinion the totally wrong one. I hope therefore that this selection does not prove to be right.

Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox. Alexander, Eagles, Cork, Elliott. Rodriguez, Iwelumo.

Subs: Jensen, Bikey, Easton, Edgar, Marney, Wallace, Thompson

Match Prediction:

QPR`s form of late has been indifferent with just one win in their last six league games on the road. This won`t be easy for the Clarets, especially with potential uncertainty over the manager, but we could rise to the occasion in this one so 2-1 to Burnley.

Next Match

It`s trip to Glanford Park next for the Clarets on Saturday 22nd January. Burnley will be hoping to avenge the recent defeat at home to Scunthorpe over the festive season and ensure The Iron don`t become the second team this season to get the double over them. Clarets fans are reminded this match is being covered live by Sky Sports and consequently kicks-off at 5:20pm.




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 10 2011

Time: 10:45AM

Your Comments

Come on You Clarets! Time to make a big,big statement. We have the talent needed, we just need the spark to ignite it!
turfmanphil
I agree TMP. Edgar looked good at CB in the very limited time he played there. I'd like to see Bikey and Edgar at CB. We look better with Bikey at CB as he helps us to build from the back with the ball on the deck. Edgar also looks more of a footballing CB than our other options. Bikey and Edgar also seem to have more pace than other options. Definitely Jensen in goal. He hardly put a foot wrong and kept a few clean sheets and then got dropped. Grant has the habit of knoeking the ball straight back out to attackers and hasn't kept a clean sheet. With those 3 at the back I'd have a lot more confidence and think they should be given a run of games there to forge a good understanding.
SWALESCLARET
Definitely agree Swales, defence is the key and would love to see the Beast between the posts and Bikey and Edgar at centre back, we have suffered from lack of pace there and in any case the defence certainly needs changing. Enough chances up front are being created and will surely be converted on a regular basis soon. Up and at em you Clarets show the new manager what you can do. Even if he is not here yet.
cornwallclaret
I think for this game Marney could be the key factor. He is probably the best midfielder we have that can be given the job of tracking Taarabt when he crosses into our half. Grezza doesn't have the pace, Wade doesn't have the .......and its a big ask of Cork when you also want him to score and get into the oppositions box more than Marney! So I predict a boring nil nil draw!
VinRogue
Amazing confidence in our defence VR. I think we will have to score at least one goal to get a draw.
cornwallclaret
One goal cornwall !! I am afraid I may have missed off the !!!!!!!!! on my post above....I think there is more chance of me growing hair than our defence keeping a clean sheet!
VinRogue
Why possibly in bikey out on of the best players at the club?....... absolutely no scene in that . Beast needs a recall, grant whilst looks a far better keeper, simply cant keep the ball out the nett, so get the competition going for this no 1 shirt spot, Grezza now needs to go onto coaching staff, Thomo and Patto hopeless get them moved on, give Elliot a consistency pill or he will need to follow them, pray CM is ready to start challenging after his long term injury it would be like signing a new Chris Eagles but better! Carlisle last season for him, but must be involved with the clubs coaching staff new CB required along with a cracker in CM! SimpleS ....... O perhaps a manager might help........... and don't start all that Pattos good stuff cos quite honestly he is bloody hopeless
hollinsclaret
Pato is the best striker at the club he just hasn't had the chance to show it since we were last in the championship! Yes Fletcher was a better player than Pato but he has moved on and been replaced by a man who hasn't been able to get a goal away from home all season. Jayrod is a decent enough player but doesn't have the goals in him like Pato who scored 19 league goals last time we were in this division. Then he was playing as a striker not a wide midfielder as he so often did under clueless Brian. Give Pato a run in the team and he will score, SIMPLES!
andy1882
*************** NEWS FLASH ************* BBC REPORTING THIS .......Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe set for Burnley switch GUYS IF THIS HAPPENS IT WILL BE ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC FOR OUR CLUB ............ HE'S THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER MANAGER IN ENGLAND AT THE MOMENT !!!!! COME ON EDDIE GET THE ORGY OF SEXY FOOTBALL GOING AT THE TURF............... BK BF ALL IS FORGIVEN !!!!!!!!!!!!
hollinsclaret
Hollins - the BBCwww headline is 'set for', like Howe's almost definite. But the story underneath says 'looks set for', like it's maybe not quite so definite. Their story also includes the news that Bfc have confirmed they remain in dialogue with 'several parties'. Sounds to me like the Bournemouth Echo ran a story that got picked up by BBC Radio Solent, and then by BBCwww; but that none of them are really sure about what's actually going on. Do you ever join in the forum debates on here? Give it a go! There's lots of interesting discussions going on there.
Couch Potato
No talks have yet been made with Howe and the Burnley board would still have to sort out a compensation package for Howe who still has two and half years yet to run out of his three year contract. Only once that is agreed will Burnley be able to speak to their man.
8clarets8
This thread seems to be about 4 hours behind every other website! Others say 700000 compensation already agreed this morning
boltonclaret
We seem to be getting off thread here. :-) I hope the players are better focussed on QPR than we are. I'm gueesing that Hollins isn't a postman. I always enjoy his comments, but he does sometimes post them in places that are suposed to be about other things!!! :-) But, accepting that what Bolton is reporting is indeed true (and just because it's on other sites doesn't make that necessarily the case)... all that agreeing compensation does is allow us to talk to the guy. It doesn't mean that we are definitley going to employ him, or pay the money. Anyway, never mind the possible lack of haste, recognise this site's quality of comment! :-)
Couch Potato
As I am aware there has been no compensation fee agreed, pretty sure the front page will be updated as soon as possible, meanwhile by clicking on the forums at the top of this page you can find out a lot more information has to what is going on and is Chris Eagles set to leave for Everton? forums it is guys ;-)
8clarets8
Maybe I should have ended my previous post in this thread by saying 'never mind the lack of speed, you'll find lots of whacky stuff in our forums! :-)
Couch Potato
Didn't know about the forums CP, are you sure you can stand be hammering them as well as these lol ? thanks for the invite, I shall jump into them. As most have you have gathered, spelling, grammer and attention to detail are not my strong points, but hopefully you can make sense of some of my postings, I lack the eloquence of some of the fans here, apologies if you find it frustrating to follow ! Anyway in my typical balanced and reflective mode I shall share with you my considered opinion. 1) I will be eating humble pie because if the board land Eddie Howe in the manor they are going too, ( that is via agreement of compensation and in absolute privacy, then speaking with EH) then I will be first to say sorry BK and BF, this is absolutely the correct way to do business. Perhaps one shouldn't have doubted you, Although some PR lessons can be learned from this. 2) This is an absolute done deal Bournemouth WILL accept the compensation deal ( and let's face it commercially they will have too ) It will secure the club from slipping back to where they were 2 years ago, as difficult as it is to accept, many clubs are presented with this kind of issue and you simply have to sell to survive. 3) IF Eddie Howe is the ambitious individual we are led to believe he is, and his record suggests exactly that, then at some stage he will have to leave the beautiful South Coast....... this is an absolute no brianer for him because within 12 weeks he could be managing a Premiership football side, He also has a unique opportunity of automatically endearing himself to the Burnley faithful, if ever there was a chance in a life time moment, A defining moment that one can point to in ones life, then for Eddie Howe, this is it. I saw his tweet today, heavy heart or not....... Eddie Howe WILL be Burnley FC's next manager, and you know what, I have a feeling his gonna light this place up like we haven't for a long time !
hollinsclaret
Pato is definitely our top striker and proved so last time we got promoted (20 goals was it?) and even for the limited games in the Premiership, so, hollinsclaret, please get real. Pato is a hidden asset cos he hasn't played that much, so getting him fit is like a 4M striker added to the squad! For the QPR game, I wonder if Eagles will play or be saved for the so-called Everton sale. It will be interesting to see where he fits in if there is a transfer in the offing. Bikey for me is far too casual with the ball and when he plays, it's too frequent that goals given away are due to his laziness with the ball. On a good day he's excellent; on a poor day he's awful. Carlisle is consistently good unless undone by the lack of Mears in the back 4 when he's wandered upfield in an offensive role - he needs either to be managed much more effectively or adequate cover clearly provided when he's spending too much time in the opponents penalty area (first goal by last week by Port vale and numerous others all this season and last cases in point). Grant may be one for the future, but he needs to put the work in. He's been a real disappointment with his poor distribution and capacity to spill the ball - get Beast back cos he did absolutely nothing wrong to lose his place except not be the keeper Laws bought. that will give Grant a shock too and he can focus on his clear weaknesses. I can't make my mind up between Iwelumo and Thommo - both haven't quite made it happen, but with Iwelumo's strike rate at the Turf, he'd get my nod against QPR tomorrow, with Pato if fit - but we do need him fully fit this time.
Mike Mada
Mike - how about Iwelumo on the Turf in a 4-4-2, but Thommo away in a 4-5-1?
Couch Potato
I think Pato is another week off yet Mike
8clarets8
Agree with most of Mike Mada's points, especialy about Pato. 8c8 , you're having a laugh with that surely? He's been a week away for about six if not more !! We need Jensen back between the posts for sure, but I don't think that seems to fit into Gray's mindset for some reason. I used to think the same about Laws - why can't they see what we see? I hope the rumour concerning Eagles is just that. If we loose him we loose a major playmaker in this squad and we can't afford to do that if promotion is the target. Interesting goings-on with Howe but let's get a good performance and 3 points on Saturday first.
WelshClaret
Wish I was wrong WC but that's the story from't turf.
8clarets8
Strong rumour that a deal has been done for Chris Eagles to be sold to Everton for 4m today. Piennar has been sold to Chelsea.
Eyresy's Left Peg
Some more team news: Pato still not fit, thought he was a week away last week like he has been for last eight weeks? Getting concerned about him Other QPR players out of action due to injury include midfielder, Akos Buzsaky,defender Peter Ramage plus midfielders. Gavin Mahon and Josh Parker
turfmanphil
..and there is more QPR defender Matt Connolly is available again after serving a suspension (? Oh well! :-(), but Martin Rowlands has a calf strain and may not be included in the squad. Recent signing Petter Vaagan Moen is expected to make his league debut, replacing Jamie Mackie, who suffered a broken leg at Blackburn last weekend.
turfmanphil
Mika mada your right Patto is a hidden talent ! that hidden know one can find it. He's yesterdays man flick him and bring someone else in, he has nothing to offer intent on proving a point bombs up and down without any control, like a dog chasing shadows !
hollinsclaret
Simple fact is not only is Patto not good enough this year, Jay Rod is good developing player, I like him a lot, but NOT quite the full article just yet, and Big Chris i just don't know, great in the air but makes the team play in a fashion I think we struggle to maximise with! we will need to strengthen in this area, Jenson needs to get his arse back between them sticks, and Wade needs to show his new Gaffer what he's been missing in his old team mate
hollinsclaret
****************** breaking news******************* Eddie Howe just confirmed live on Sky that he is Burnley's new manager .... nice one Eddie !
hollinsclaret
Pato has not been given the chance or has been injured hollins, I think the last full start he got two goals I maybe wrong without looking back, Pato back in as soon as possible ;-)
8clarets8
And he's a joy to watch when playing inside up front. A bit worried about this injury though. When is a week a week?
WelshClaret
The Clarets unchanged from our last encounter apart from McDonald who replaces Marney on the bench, Chris Eagles plays despite being link with Everton which is a relief. Team line-ups: BURNLEY: Grant, Fox, Duff, Carlisle, Mears, Alexander, Cork, Elliott, Eagles, Rodriguez, Iwelumo. Subs: McDonald, Wallace, Thompson, Easton, Bikey, Edgar, Jensen QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taraabt, Faurlin, Gorkss, Connolly, Hulse, Smith, Vaaganmoen. Subs: Hall, Clarke, Helhuson, Cook, Borrowdale, German, Cerny.
8clarets8
Our defence has been crap for years now - long before Coyle who failed to improve it. Hasn't been good since Stan;s "we always win 1-0" days. We desperately need some clean sheets.
ozjean
Worried about our defence coping with the pace of the QPR attack and no Marney, why?
cornwallclaret
Marney picked up a knock in training cc
8clarets8
Half-time: Burnley 0-0 QPR
8clarets8
Thanks 8c8 shame we could have done with him today.
cornwallclaret
Thompson on for Iwelumo
8clarets8
Edgar on for Alexander
8clarets8
Full-time: Burnley 0-0 QPR, we could have done with a win but at least we kept a clean sheet.
8clarets8
0-0 full time
Grimsby Claret
A first clean sheet for Grant.
Grimsby Claret
Ozjean - we had a good defence initially under Cotts (McGreal, Sinclair, Cahill, and was it Flymo and of course the 20,000 bargain Duffman). But I completely agree we need to fix it now.
Couch Potato
Well, well, 0-0, VR now I know how to grow hair, cheers.
cornwallclaret
Eddie Howe has asked Stuart Gray to stay on.
8clarets8
Roll up for the mystery tour . . . . roll . . up . I just hope the fans give him time . I'm quietly confident, or should that be hopeful , that we've got the right man . At the end of the season, it'll be just like Eddie. C'mon everybody . . .
WelshClaret
You have all missed the best quality in Eddie Howe - he has the right number of syllables in his name to be able to sing 'Eddie Howe's Claret and Blue Army'. He's obviously the right man.
ozjean
Hey WelshClaret + lets hope to miss out on those summertime blues!
AndyHo
Oh dear!! I wondered when the rock n roll was going to come into it ;-)
8clarets8
Now I can't get that bleeding song out of me head....oh well....just like Eddie....
8clarets8
Well aint that Somethin Else.
AndyHo
 

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