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Club News

Bird's Eye View - Talking Points

5 September 2012

I really think we have significantly improved our defence this summer but only clean sheets and wins will prove that.
Ironically this is one area where we are possibly missing Jay Rodriguez, who often helped his defence out by winning headers in his own box, particularly at the near post. We certainly need to dominate our own 18-yard box.
It's not just the initial corner or free-kick, we have been caught out when the ball has been recovered and re-delivered.
I'm sure we will be working on defending the dead ball during the international break.
The last five league goals we have conceded have come directly or indirectly from set-pieces.

5. Extra Work Required on Defending Set Pieces.

We need to wrap him up in cotton wool and use him sparingly but there is no doubt in my mind if he is fit Burnley can climb the table in no time.
Be under no illusions, Paterson is a key man. Burnley are unbeaten in the last eleven league matches he has started with seven wins and four draws in those games.
That accrues to 124 points from 68 games - almost automatic promotion form. Significantly a few of those games were also against Premier League sides.
The statistics tell a story. McCann and Paterson have only started 18 games together since Wembley. All together in the 68 league and cup games they have both started since Paterson came to the club in 2008 we have won 36 and drawn 16.
We've been unfortunate that both players have had such tragic injury problems since Wembley 2009.
Martin Paterson and Chris McCann were key players in our promotion season. They gave such energy to that side, particularly in our favoured 4-1-4-1 formation.

4. We've Got to Keep Paterson Fit.

The bottom line is the team always needs help. Fans have paid their money, they are entitled to an opinion, but for the best end results it's beneficial for everyone to try and remain positive, backing the lads - our team - as loudly as possible.
The Clarets Player commentary position for away games is always amongst their fans. Away from home we are constantly looking for signs of unease. Apprehension and anxiety will always help the visitors' cause, particularly if it is audible to the players.
The atmosphere against Bolton was unbelievable. In contrast it was tense and agitated against Brighton. That gave Gus Poyet's team an advantage, particularly after they had scored.
We need to give our youngsters every bit of encouragement possible. Since his Clarets debut he has played international, World Cup and Olympic football. How good is that?
When Howieson came on as a late substitute for Junior Stanislas against Bristol City on the last day of last season he misplaced a pass and got growls of disappointment from the home crowd.
Young Cameron Howieson, 17, is a fantastic prospect. He outshone Kerim Frei in our FA Youth Cup quarter-final win at Craven Cottage and Frei has played regularly in the Premier League.
It's a two-way thing. The crowd gets the team going and the team gets the crowd going.

3. The Team Performs Better When Turf Moor Roars.

As Brian Stock gets fitter he will surely play a pivotal role in a deep midfield role that allows the likes of Dean Marney, Chris McCann and Marvin Bartley to get further forward.
We played a 4-1-3-2 formation against Owen Coyle's side and it worked a treat. It may mean we have to play narrower in midfield, or sacrifice a winger, but it's worth some serious thought.
We saw how well an Austin/Martin Paterson partnership can work in the opening day win over Bolton. Give Austin the service and he will score goals.
Charlie Austin's strike rate in league games is 50 league goals in just 106 appearances. That's sensational. I think it's imperative we find a way of ensuring he isn't isolated up front.

2. Don't Leave Austin Isolated.

Maybe we shouldn't be conceding from an acrobatic kick from near the penalty spot but Mackail-Smith might try that a hundred times and only score once. If there is one consolation, sides won't keep scoring goals of that quality against us.
Craig Mackail-Smith's amazing overhead kick was a real game turner. Like the Luke Williams and Adam Reach goals at the Riverside, there was no stopping that. It reminded me of Wayne Rooney's sensational overhead goal versus Manchester City. It was that good!
Is it me? Or are we collecting a montage of unbelievable goals scored against us? I've always hated the manufactured term 'worldy'. I hate it more than ever now.

1. Sick of Conceding Worldies!

However, it's still early days and there is a long, long way to go. International breaks give everyone a bit of time for reflection. Here are some of the talking points:
A fortnight is a long time in football. After a magnificent opening day win against Bolton Wanderers things have gone a little flat in the next three league games. Football is full of ups and downs.

Five Big Talking Points:

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