Squad strength puts us in the mix
Let's Not Get Carried Away:
I thought our win at The Den on Saturday was our best performance of the season to date. We took the game to Millwall and dominated throughout.
It seems like only yesterday we were being told we were a one-man side. Fantastic player though he is, there is no way we are so reliant on Charlie Austin. The goals are now being shared around.
Significantly our last seven league goals have come from seven different scorers: Austin, Michael Duff, Keith Treacy, Ross Wallace, Junior Stanislas, Sam Vokes and Danny Ings.
It’s four wins out of five. We have won our last three league games without conceding a goal but there is a long way to go. We need to keep our feet on the ground.
If we are to be serious promotion candidates this run has to be maintained. To some extent we are playing catch-up. I know it's a cliché but we have 18 cup ties ahead of us.
I mentioned in commentary on Saturday we have 42 points from 28 games. In our promotion season we had 43 points at this stage and we lost our next game at Watford. It illustrates we are very much in the mix. It’s what happens from now until May that matters now.
The Clarets were fantastic at Millwall
The last few weeks have shown we have got a really healthy competition for places.
In this run of four wins out of five, at various stages, we have been without the likes of Charlie Austin, Ben Mee, Junior Stanislas, Brian Stock, Michael Duff, Chris McCann, Martin Paterson, Kevin Long and Dean Marney.
That’s some list and it tells you how well we have been doing. David Edgar illustrates this. He has had to be patient. He was excellent in defence alongside skipper Jason Shackell at Millwall. The previous week against Palace he moved seamlessly into midfield.
Birmingham City have got problems of their own. They are in the middle of a financial crisis, and if newspapers are to be believed, they are looking to sell rather than buy in January.
Wade Elliott and Steven Caldwell were top players for Burnley. It's sad to see them playing for a struggling side. We are bound to have memories of Wembley 2009 but it’s a ruthless game and we need the points.
We should have won at St Andrew’s just before Christmas. I thought we played really well there. We were denied by a cruel, late Nikola Zigic equaliser.
The January transfer window always gives Clarets fans the jitters. There are newspaper reports in Scotland suggesting Celtic may be interested in Charlie Austin if striker Gary Hooper goes to Norwich City.
No way is Hooper worth more money than Austin. The SPL is nowhere near as competitive as the Championship. Look at Kris Boyd. The all-time top scorer in the SPL struggled in our division.
Austin has 36 goals at this level compared to Hooper’s 19. For me the Scottish club would need to find additional funds to get near to the right valuation. We have the best striker outside the Premier League.
Well Done Bradford!
It’s fantastic to see Bradford City reaching Wembley in the Capital One Cup final. To beat Arsenal, Wigan and Villa on the way shows they deserve their success. It’s hard to believe that a fourth tier club has reached a major cup final. Magnificent!
I loved the story of the entrepreneur who had 450 Bradford City Wembley 2013 scarves produced before Tuesday’s semi-final second leg. That’s brave!
Tweet of the Week:
'To all the fans. You are not forced to buy season tickets. Or pay our wages. Please remember that...."
A tweet from Newcastle’s Nile Ranger. Biting the hand that feeds him, I think!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Burnley FC.