Date:Sunday September 9 2012
Saturday 15th September 2012
Burnley face bottom club, Peterborough at Turf Moor this Saturday, hoping to bring to an end a sequence of defeats after losing three successive league games.
These are somewhat worrying days for the Clarets. After an impressive display and victory over Bolton at Turf Moor in the Championship season opener it has been a struggle ever since. Burnley have now lost three league games in a row with only a less than impressive victory over Plymouth at home in the Capital One Cup second round to shout about. Those shouts from Clarets fans were also pretty muted considering we needed a penalty shootout to see off the League 2 upstarts!
It has also not been so much the defeats but the manner in which we lost them since the performances have generally been pretty poor with the team seemingly lacking confidence and direction. It is of course early days and this is not the time to start sulking and giving up all hope just yet but the Clarets quickly need to get back on track and give the fan-base with home gates dropping something to really shout about. It is certainly not comfortable seeing the Clarets currently in the drop zone in 22nd spot with just three points from four games and a goal difference of minus three. Hopefully, we can restore confidence all round with a thumping victory over bottom club, Peterborough at Turf Moor this Saturday.
If Burnley have had a poor start to the season, Posh`s problems appear to be even worse. Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson is already under pressure pleading with Posh fans not to boo the team following four successive defeats in their opening four league games. Posh have lost two at home and two away in the Championship although did thump League 2 Southend 4-0 at London Rd in the first round of the Capital One Cup before going down 3-2 away to Premier League, Reading in the second round. It is clear that anything less than a victory for the Clarets on Saturday could have serious repercussions for Eddie Howe and his team. You just begin to sense frustration is creeping in at the moment with many fans beginning to have doubts on Howe`s management skills and team tactics. It just seems simple to me though, any team that can play like we did against Bolton must surely have a chance of promotion. That same team just needs to find that confidence again and quickly. Hopefully the international break has given some time for reflection and restored some determination and motivation in the squad to show more fight and secure a desperately needed win on Saturday.
There was good news for Danny Ings this week following surgery to fix his torn cartilage. The worry was he could have been sidelined for up to six months after picking up the injury in a pre-season game away to Rochdale. However the 20 year old could now be back in action well ahead of schedule after undergoing a successful knee operation. He may even now return before Christmas.
'It's the best outcome we could've had. The tear was not as bad as we feared,' boss Eddie Howe told the club website.
'The procedure wasn't that intrusive, which reduces the time-scale.
'Now we can look forward to getting him back quicker than we hoped, which is the best news we could have had.'
Burnley though are still currently under strength in the striking department and unless a new forward is signed on loan before Saturday, Eddie Howe will just have three strikers to choose from. Charlie Austin almost picks himself these days, leaving Sam Vokes and Martin Paterson to fight for the second spot assuming of course we play 4-4-2. Pato is still being treated with kid gloves at the moment following his minor hamstring injury and although he came onto play for the whole of the second half against Brighton at home in our last game he still pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifying game against Russia during the International break. There is no news though of any further injuries and hopefully any niggles or minor injuries will have had time to heal during the international break. We also have to hope of course that our players on International duty also return fit and raring to go with some games still to be played this week.
Edgar will return from international duty with Canada this week and we shall have to hope that he will be fully rested enough to face Posh on Saturday. He has generally looked more solid partnering Shackell in the centre of defence this season although he does still seem prone to the odd defensive blunder on occasions. Our back four in general do need to tighten up though after leaking nine goals in four competitive games, eight of them in the league and Edgar will be integral to making sure we can.
Peterborough United defender Tommy Rowe fractured his left collarbone in a pre-season friendly in a 6-0 run-out against St Neots in July. He could be sidelined up to October or even longer depending on the results of another X-ray to be taken shortly.
Posh captain Gaby Zakuani didn`t train last week, but looks set to return against the Clarets. Zakuani was forced off at half-time with blood pouring from a head wound in the 1-0 defeat at Birmingham a week last Saturday.
Ferguson signed midfielder 19 year old Kane Ferdinand from Southend United on a four-year deal for an initial fee of £200,000 at the end of the summer transfer window last month. The fee could rise to half-a-million. The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international is a cousin of the more famous; Rio and Anton brothers and also can score a few goals at least at League 2 level. He played 71 times for Southend scoring 10 goals. He has yet to make his debut for Posh but with the results not going Ferguson`s way recently it will be interesting to see whether Ferdinand will be in contention on Saturday against the Clarets.
Eddie Howe`s tactics against Brighton were to say the least a disaster. Gus Poyet`s men came to Turf Moor well briefed and certainly managed to expose our weaknesses in their 3-1 victory. Their task though was helped in the first half following Howe`s poor decision to play Austin alone up front. He looked isolated and was chasing shadows for most of the first half until Howe realised his mistake and changed to 4-4-2 for the start of the second-half. We simply have to start 4-4-2 against Posh and start to put them under pressure. Their confidence could be even lower than ours and an early goal could really rock their morale. There is also a question mark about the relevance of playing three central midfielders with Bartley looking off form with McCann and Marney around him. I suspect Bartley could be on the bench this Saturday to make way for a 4-4-2 formation with Austin and probably Paterson forming the twin attack. Both Wallace and Stanislas have come under attack recently from critical fans but at the moment there does not appear to be much option but to play them both. On loan winger, Cameron Stewart did not exactly set the world on fire in his debut against Brighton and Treacy seems to have gone AWOL again! Wallace to give him his due looked to have some fight in him when he came on from the bench against the Seagulls and may have done enough to reclaim a starting eleven place. I suspect the line-up could look something like this assuming of course we have not signed a new striker on loan by then:
Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas, Austin, Paterson
Subs: Jensen, Mee, Duff, Bartley, Stock, Stewart, Vokes
We will bring you details of the referee in charge of this game beneath this article once available
It is unbearable to think of anything else other than a win and against the bottom club, it really has to be a convincing one to restore some faith amongst a lot of Clarets fans. If we can capture just 50% of the Bolton performance it should be a comfortable win! 3-0 Clarets!!
The Clarets have two league games on the road after the Posh clash. They face a tricky game away to Leicester City on the night of Wednesday 19th September (Kick-Off-7:45pm) before travelling to Pride Park the following Saturday for a clash against the Rams (Kick-Off-3pm)
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Date:Sunday September 9 2012
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