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Bird's Eye View: Getting Closer!

11 April 2013

Clarets Player commentator Phil Bird returns with his sideways look at life at Turf Moor and beyond

Getting Closer:
Saturday’s win over struggling Bristol City was much needed. Fifty four points might not be quite enough, but we are getting closer.
However, following Burnley is never easy.
We dominated the game but somehow trailed 1-0 at half time with the Robins scoring from their only first half attack. It would have been a travesty if we hadn’t collected all three points, but we needed a fabulous penalty save from Lee Grant to secure the win.



The former Derby County keeper has had a great season and in my eyes he will challenge Charlie Austin and Kieran Trippier for player of the season honours this time. 
You could sense the collective relief when Martin Paterson scored in time added on. His clinical finish settled the nerves. Thankfully, this time there was no last minute heartache for us.
It was the first time we had come from behind to win under Sean Dyche and I think it emphasised the excellent team spirit within the ranks. 

Massive Away Days:
How big are away games at Blackpool and Leeds United? 
There will be a healthy Clarets’ following at both games and it’s a great chance to do the double over two of our biggest rivals.
We last won at Bloomfield Road when Christian Kalvenes got a crucial goal in our 2008-2009 promotion season. 
We last did the double over Leeds United in 1926-27. Safe to say we are overdue! 
With Sheffield Wednesday winning at Millwall on Tuesday, and with Barnsley getting an unexpected point at Premier League bound Cardiff, nothing is certain at the bottom of the Championships.
Every point remains crucial.

One talking point for Saturday is the state of the Bloomfield Road pitch. It beggars belief.
The locals are outraged that the owners didn’t use some of the Premier League money to improve the playing surface.
It looks like it’s been ravaged by disease and takes on the appearance of a cabbage patch. 
We’ve got arguably the best pitch in the division, Blackpool have, from pictorial evidence, certainly got the worst. 
Manager Paul Ince has had to change their playing style and there’s is no doubt we will have to go more direct on Saturday.
Set pieces will therefore play a big part. 
Blackpool are on 51 points, just four clear of the drop. That will make them more nervous.
They led this division back in September and were flying under former boss Ian Holloway.
Since then their form has been poor and could still be in trouble if we could grab all three points.

Rodriguez for England:
I saw the Reading v Southampton game last Saturday lunchtime and I thought Jay Rodriguez had a magnificent match.
Everyone at Turf Moor knows what a special talent he is, but he appears to be getting better with every campaign. 
England play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at the end of next month before going to Rio to face Brazil. 
I think there is a chance Rodriguez could get international recognition.
It’s a non-tournament summer and boss Roy Hodgson will be having a look at fringe players. 



We’ve Bean Delayed! 
Last week the Barrow v Ebbsfleet game kicked off 90 minutes late because the Ebbsfleet team were delayed, first by holiday traffic and then a baked bean spillage on the M6 motorway.
The final whistle went after 11pm and manager Liam Daish’s journey took an incredible 24 hours door to door, returning home at 8.30am the following morning! 
Ironically, his last task before bed was a phone interview on BBC Five Live.
Interviewer Nicky Campbell duly asked whether he was still full of beans!

The un-edited comments above are entirely the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Burnley Football Club

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