7th April 2007
The Clarets are hopefully revving up for this match as they travel to high-flying Birmingham with the relief that they have now finally broken the 19 match winless streak following an emphatic tonking of Plymouth 4-0 last Tuesday night.
It will be a tall order to expect anything from this match, with Birmingham riding high in second place on 74 points with one game in hand over leaders, Derby on 76 points.
My hope is that whatever the result, the Clarets put in a creditable, confident performance with passion to carry forward into the next few games in the remaining busy Easter and April schedule.
Although now 18th on 45 points with a game in hand over all teams below us and a vastly superior goal difference, we are still not technically safe despite being six points clear now of third from bottom placed club, Southend. Steve Cotterill believes only three points will probably now be needed for safety. It will be a minor miracle if we get those at St Andrews but if we can leave the pitch with our heads still held high, I would fancy our chances against Cardiff on Easter Monday at the Turf. We should certainly get points also against Norwich and Coventry at home and possibly Leeds away so barring a disaster I think we will still be playing Championship football next season.
Come on you Clarets!
Steve Cotterill Says:
'Since Tuesday I've sat down and watched two of Birmingham's games, rather than bask in the victory.
'In this job you've got to be on to the next game, so Birmingham, coupled with Cardiff, has taken up my thoughts,' Cotterill went on to say
'Having said that, it was good to walk in the dressing room the other night.
'Normally you walk in and it's very quiet and the players are waiting for you to say something, but I could have probably walked in naked after Plymouth and I don't think they would have known I was there!
'I was just listening to them all talking, and buzzing and it was great to see that.
'Quite probably, the lads and myself will never endure anything like this again, probably in our careers.
'I certainly wouldn't want to go through that again. But we might come out the other end stronger.'
Talking about chances of survival, Steve said:
'I think we might need one more win, but we don't want to be going into anything with that in our heads,' he said.
'As it stands we've got that one game in hand and the teams below us need to win two and draw one to get above us, because of our goal difference.
'It looks far healthier. We would never have wanted to be where we are but the (Plymouth) win was important and, while everybody would have taken a scrappy 1-0 win, the performance was also very good.'
Birmingham Team News:
On-loan striker Andrew Cole has suffered a hamstring injury in training and is unlikely to be risked.
Gary McSheffrey and Julian Gray will however return after suspension.
Bruno N'Gotty remains doubtful but will have a test on a hamstring problem before the match.
Player to watch: Nicklas Bendtner
The name on everyone's lips leaving Turf Moor back in November was Nicklas Bendtner, 18, the Dane who is on a season-long loan from Arsenal. He scored Birmingham's first goal and created their second. 'I haven't seen anybody better this season,' declared Burnley manager Steve Cotterill, a view endorsed by Bruce, who said: 'He has great feet, heading ability, courage, vision and doesn't mind a tackle.'
Burnley Team News:
'James O'Connor and Jon Harley are both on nine bookings and Eric Djemba-Djemba and Paul McVeigh both have tight hamstrings.' states the gaffer, whether that is an indication that the former named players could be rested for fear of a two match suspension remains to be seen. Most Clarets fans will be hoping loan stars Djemba-Djemba and McVeigh can recover in time based on their excellent perfomances of late.
The only players definitely out of the squad appear to be Foster and Mahon
Player to watch: Andy Gray
Andy finally seemed to turn the corner against Plymouth and although not scoring put in an awesome perfomance becoming the gaffer's man of the match. Lets hope this can continue and this time he can get on the score sheet.
Last Time We Met!
The Clarets last met Birmingham in our game against them back in November. Sadly we came out 2-1 losers with that man Nicklas Bendtner causing the damage, scoring one and making one for Brum with Chris McCann getting the goal for us.
Its difficult to see us getting any points out of this match but because I can never bring myself to give the opposition a win, I will go for 1-1 draw.
Cardiff at Turf Moor on Easter Monday, 9th April 3pm KO