Date:Friday February 9 2007
Well this will be an interesting one, with Burnley now on only one point in five matches compared to the Owls null points over the same number of games! Wednesday's bad run doesn't appear to have affected their faithful following though with 2500-3000 fans expected to cross the Pennines for this match. At least the Cricket Field Stand is now deemed safe to accommodate them after the storm damage and we will maximise revenues from ticket sales. Lets hope the Clarets faithful also take note of our manager's plea to turn up and shout their support! Recent criticism of the manager, with the Clarets not having won a League game in ten matches, should not be reflected in chants on the pitch by the boo boys. The team are low on confidence as it is and thats the least we can do for the lads.
There has certainly been a bit of activity post-January window, as we said goodbye to Frank Sinclair who departed for the Galpharm and also to loan keeper,Mike Pollitt who has been recalled by Wigan. Rumours however linking a loan swop with Foster going to Crewe and Otsemobor coming the other way were denied by the Club.
'We need our real passionate Burnley crowd because at the moment myself and the players need the crowd. We do our bit, okay of late that hasn't happened but we need a passionate Burnley crowd behind us on Saturday. That is very much at the moment what we all need,'
'Whilst we have got a home game, six out of our last seven games have been away. That's tough as well. A nice home game with a good passionate crowd behind us might help them.'
Eric Djembe Djembe is now available following his one match suspension.He was sent off for two yellows in the match against Derby in the last minute at Pride Park. With Mike Pollitt returning to Wigan, it now looks like Danny Coyne will take his place in goal following a successful comeback for the Welsh team in this week's International friendly against Northern Ireland. Danny kept a clean sheet and now appears to have recovered from his injury. Out of favour and transfer listed, Brian Jensen may have to settle for being bench warmer, if Steve decides he wants keeper cover for the game.
One injury doubt is likely to be Steve Jones who pulled out of the Irish sqaud due to a calf injury despite having played in the last 25 minutes againt QPR in our last match at Loftus Road.
The other question surrounds Andy Gray and whether he will start this match following his cameo appearance against QPR last week following his long recovery from injury. Steve Cotterill may take the view not to risk him for the full 90 minutes and name him on the bench
Thomas also missed out in the last game against QPR thanks to a foot injury and it will be interesting to see if he returns or whether Foster will keep his place.The team selection is therefore likely to be something like this:
Coyne, Foster or Thomas, McGreal, Duff, Harley, Djembe Djembe, Gudjonsson, James O'Connor, McCann, Lafferty, Akinbiyi
Subs: Jensen, Elliott, Caldwell, Gray, Mahon
Will he show significant improvement in match fitness and raise spirits within the team?
For the Owls,Peter Gilbert returns from his loan spell at Doncaster and may make an appearance. Richard Wood could also be fit to make his first start of the season although remains doubtful with an ankle injury.
Graham Coughlan is also a doubt with his jaw injury and Jermaine Johnson sits out the last game in his three match ban. John Hills with a calf injury appears to be a definite absentee.
Comments provided by Vital Owls Editor (Nick)'Chris Brunt will be the one to watch. Impressed for Northern Ireland in midweek and hopefully he'll continue that this season. I think he's scored nine this season, which is the best goalscoring record of any midfielder in the division by my records. Got a lethal left-foot, so watch out for his corners and free-kicks.'
The Clarets played out a creditable draw the last time these two teams met. This was away at Hillsborough back in August. The score was 1-1 with James O'Connor our scorer that day late in the game. O'Connor's goal, his first in over 11 months at the time, came from close range in the 82nd minute, the substitute finishing well, to cancel out a Steve McLean penalty just after the hour mark.
Nigel Miller (Durham)
We simply have to win this one-2:1 Clarets
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Date:Friday February 9 2007
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