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Bird's Eye View: Finishing On A High

9 May 2013

Clarets Player commentator Phil Bird sums up the season in his final column

We Finished on a High:
After a tense last few weeks I really enjoyed our last day win over an in-form Ipswich Town.
It was a real feel good day, including a marvellous send-off (even though we didn’t know it at the time) for long serving goalkeeper Brian Jensen and a tremendous gesture from Danny Ings when he presented his boots to a young disabled Clarets fan. 

I know we face challenges but I saw some really good signs on Saturday.
After a quiet first half, we came to life in the second half and we fully deserved the points against Mick McCarthy's much improved side. 
It may surprise one or two people, but we got more points in the second half of the season than the first, 31 versus 30. 
We finished 11th, just seven points off the play offs and Sean, who finished 11th with Watford last season, has a league record here with Burnley of W11 D11 L11. Spooky! 

Changes in boundaries make it difficult to assess but, by my reckoning, that is the first time since 1975-76 we have finished as Lancashire's top club.

At the opposite end, it's difficult not to feel sorry for Peterborough United. They led twice at Palace only to lose 3-2 and go down with an incredible 54 points.
It is worth remembering back in December, at the halfway point, Darren Ferguson's side had a measly 19 points.
And how’s this for a stat: Peterborough got as many points in the second half of the season as Hull City who were automatically promoted. 

A Summer of Change:
We know Sean Dyche faces a busy period as the club faces a summer of change.
We are set to enter our final season of parachute payments. Inevitably that means the wage bill has to be trimmed.
We simply cannot go again with the same deals for our out-of-contract players. 

Lee Grant, who was superb this season, has left Turf Moor to rejoin Derby County. Whilst it appears our offer was competitive, a move closer to home swung the transfer.

Dyche will have his targets - he will have already had a provisional list in case Grant moved on.
The local press have picked out Darren Randolph who is out of contract at Motherwell, while I notice Manchester United keeper Sam Johnstone has also been linked on loan. 

Ferguson - The End of an Era:
After 27 successful years Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring as manager of Manchester United. Including caretakers, we’ve had 14 managers in that time.
Many clubs have had more.
My favourite moment of his reign? August 19th, 2009. Burnley 1 Manchester United 0.
Robbie Blake scored the only goal.

Billy, What Were You Thinking?
Everything happened on the last day of the npower Championship. So much was going on, it might have been easy to miss the pantomime that took place at the City Ground.
For some bizarre reason, Forest boss Billy Davies elected to hold his press conference before the game! 
The Forest boss explained that he had "bigger fish to fry", and that he was showing the "utmost respect" to the journalists in attendance by holding the press conference before the game.
Perhaps he knew what was coming. Forest lost 3-2 to Leicester City and crashed out of the play offs.

Enjoy the summer. Up the Clarets!

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