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17:15 15th January 2011


Eddie Howe is set to start his new job on Monday with a clean slate and a clean sheet after the Clarets held the Championship leaders to record their first shut-out since the middle of October.

The Clarets' prospective new manager watched Burnley end a 13-match wait for a blank as caretaker manager Stuart Gray handed over with an unbeaten Turf Moor record.

Gray's temporary reign rarely looked like ending with a win as the Clarets failed to find their usual attacking spark in difficult conditions.

But the soft centre that has undermined their promotion challenge in recent weeks was efficiently stamped out as Rangers were given equally short shrift by a dominant Burnley back four.

Goalkeeper Lee Grant had to produce an impressive performance to set up the first clean sheet he has enjoyed since joining the Clarets.

But with the title favourites kept at bay Burnley proved, as they had when drawing at Loftus Road, that they can match the best, something Howe will now be looking to get them to do on a regular basis to keep the promotion places in sight.

Eddie Howe gets a feel for Turf Moor

After a nod to the past in the shape of a moving ovation for title-winning captain and club legend Jimmy Adamson, back at Turf Moor for the opening of a new suite in his name, the Clarets prepared to usher in a new era as Howe took his place in the directors' box before kick-off.

The manager-elect was given plenty to ponder in an opening spell dominated by the visitors, whose speed of movement had the Clarets under pressure and reliant on Grant to keep them on level terms.

With eight minutes gone Shaun Derry sized up a shot which was bottom-corner bound until Grant plunged to his left to touch the ball round the post.

And the Clarets' keeper rescued his side again after a quarter of an hour when he stood firm to repel Bradley Orr after the former Clarets' loanee had run behind the defence to meet a curling pass from Alejandro Faurlin which he should have made more of.

Head boys

Grant also saved a deflected shot from Adel Taarabt, who promised more than he actually delivered as the Clarets managed to keep the Rangers' captain and play-maker under a fairly tight rein.

He did, though, gain a free-kick which earned Michael Duff a harsh-looking booking and ended with Clint Hill connecting with a far post header which Grant did well to parry.

But having ridden out the early storm Burnley did threaten themselves as they grew in stature as the first half progressed.

Stuart Gray signs off with a point

Chris Eagles and Wade Elliott both stretched the Rangers' defence, although Paddy Kenny was forced into only one testing save as he went full length to palm away a snap-shot from Jay Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also dragged a shot wide as he cut in from the left flank and the young striker also went close with a header from an Eagles' cross ten minutes before the break.

But in wet and windy conditions that helped neither side the Clarets found it difficult to build up any sustained period of pressure and it was not until the start of the second half that the game found any real tempo.

Taarabt whacked a free-kick just wide and chipped another onto the roof of the net after being tripped just outside the penalty area before the Clarets almost broke through with an hour gone.

A fine pass from Graham Alexander released Rodriguez to sprint into the box but from his low cross Kenny was able to stick out a boot and clear.

Michael Duff let nothing past

Not surprisingly, the table toppers never made life easy and having kept Burnley's chances to a minimum they could have gone ahead mid-way through the second half.

Again a free-kick was the source of the danger and when Orr headed back at the far post, Kaspars Gorkss should have hit the target from close in.

Clarke Carlisle then threw himself in front of a shot from Tommy Smith as the Clarets dug in to grind out a result.

And with the impressive Duff also standing strong beside him, the Clarets - given a late glimpse of three points when Kenny dropped a corner just beyond Carlisle - made sure they would give Howe a solid platform to build from.

Clarke Carlisle almost wins it

Burnley: Grant, Fox, Duff, Carlisle, Mears, Alexander (Edgar 86), Cork, Elliott, Eagles, Rodriguez, Iwelumo (Thompson 67). Subs: McDonald, Wallace, Easton, Bikey, Jensen.

Booked: Duff 35, Alexander 67, Fox 68, Thompson 83, Cork 90

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Gorkss, Connolly, Derry, Taraabt (Hall 90), Faurlin (Clarke 81), Hulse (Helguson 81), Smith, Vaaganmoen. Subs: Clarke, Cook, Borrowdale, German, Cerny.

Bookd: Faurlin 23, Orr 30

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 14,819

    Data provided by Press Association