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Bird's Eye View: Test of character

14 February 2013

Clarets Player commentator Phil Bird talks all things football

Everyone will be disappointed we lost out in the derby last Saturday. It was a sickener. We weren’t at our best but, having grabbed a lead, we should have been in pole position to take advantage. 

However, on reflection I thought we were a touch unfortunate. I actually thought we defended okay. The goal-kick leading up to Craig Davies’ goal should have been a corner. It looked like the ball came off Craig Dawson rather than Junior Stanislas. 

Ahead of the winner it looked like there was a push by Kevin Davies on Kieran Trippier. Even then, David Ngog’s strike is instinctive but carries a touch of fortune because Jay Spearing’s effort was going well wide. 

Sometimes these things don’t go for you. It’s a test of character now and we’ve got to show everybody we are good enough to get in the top six. 
 
It’s all about Middlesbrough on Tuesday now. Winning at Turf Moor could give us some real momentum at a crucial time of the season. We need to start closing the gap on Tony Mowbray’s side. 

They go to Selhurst Park on Saturday in a promotion six-pointer and will have played four tough games in 11 days. They ended a run of five successive league defeats with a scrappy 1-0 win over Leeds on Tuesday night. We will be fresh and determined to put Bolton behind us.
 
 
Two goals for Sam Vokes in the behind-closed-doors friendly against Stoke City has done him no harm in the battle for selection. He also did really well as a substitute for Wales, scoring in their international against Austria last week.

We have a good squad with players ready to come in if needed. The Gaffer may make changes. Vokes is an option. Can we play two strikers and go more direct? Does Brian Stock come into the midfield to try and improve our ball intention? That part of our game was disappointing after we took the lead at Bolton. 
 
Eddie on the Up:

It’s good to see Eddie Howe doing so well at AFC Bournemouth. For whatever reason things didn’t quite work out for him at Turf Moor. Everyone wishes him well. After Tuesday night’s win at Crewe the Cherries are top.  It’s not inconceivable our paths may cross again next season.
 
Olly’s Not Happy:

I’ve not always agreed with Ian Holloway but he was absolutely spot-on to highlight Watford’s use of the loan system. However, I was staggered he wasn’t aware of it until Palace played at Vicarage Road last Friday.
 

Under Football League rules any team can have five loanees in their match-day squad but this doesn’t include foreign loans which come under FIFA’s jurisdiction. 

When we faced the Hornets back in December they had an incredible 14 players on loan with ten coming from Serie A side Udinese, also owned by the Pozzo family. 

Not for one minute are we saying Watford have broken the rules but surely this is ethically wrong. I’m of the view that English registered players need opportunities and we can’t have a situation where bulk player transactions are allowed from clubs with the same owners. 
 
The Train Approaching Platform One…….

I loved the story telling us that Roberto Mancini, Vincent Kompany, James Milner and Joe Hart had all recorded train messages for the new extended tram service that takes in the Etihad Stadium. 

The City boss tells passengers: “This is Roberto Mancini from Manchester City. This is the Bury service. The next stop will be the Etihad Campus.”                    

Maybe we should consider something similar for trains coming into Burnley? I’m sure Sean Dyche, Jason Shackell and co would oblige!  

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Burnley FC.




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