Clarets Blog: We can still look on the bright side

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

FRUSTRATING is probably one of the most overused words when it comes to describing the Clarets’ fortunes of late.

It’s frustrating that we appear to be lacking the cutting edge in front of goal that served us so well earlier in the season.

It’s frustrating that we have proved a real test to a top six side (AGAIN!) and come away with nothing.

And it’s frustrating that we are still tantalisingly in touch with the top six but are not in the kind of form to make the most of it.

What we cannot allow is that frustration to get the better of us.

I know we are not always going to agree with the tactics or team selections but then again it is easy for us sat in the stands to make decisions.

Sean Dyche admitted after the game on Saturday that he was amazed that we hadn’t won a game on this poor run we are on.

I have to agree to a certain extent and without sounding like a broken record, I don’t feel we have got the points we have deserved from most of the last five or six games.

Goals change games and Brighton’s came in the middle of a 10-minute sticky patch in the first half.

It was a decent strike by the dangerous David Lopez but the defending could have been better.

The ball into the box wasn’t really dealt with and he had the fairly simple task of guiding the volley home.

Despite us looking much better defensively since Dyche came in, Lopez’s strike was typical of the kind of goals we are conceding at the minute.

And it was the kind of chance that we haven't been tucking away ourselves in the last five games.

Something has to give and Dyche knows it.

Personally I’d like to see us be a bit more adventurous up front and maybe tomorrow night see Sam Vokes restored to the starting line-up in a more traditional 4-4-2 formation.

It may be less fluid that the 4-1-4-1 we have been playing but I do think it will give Charlie Austin the kind of support he has been desperately lacking since coming back from injury.

Vokesy just gives us that extra dimension at times and one criticism of recent games is that we really haven't given opposition centre backs enough to do until too late in the game.

We all know how calamitous Andre Bikey/Amougou can be but he had a comfortable return to the Turf last Tuesday because he wasn’t under any real pressure.

Giving Vokes more than his usual 10 minutes may have helped us unlock the game a little.

It isn’t all negative though and the performances, I am sure, will get their just rewards in time.

A word of praise for Kevin Long who has done superbly since slotting in alongside Jason Shackell in the last couple of games.

The youngster has had to wait a while for his chance since being snapped up by Owen Coyle (remember him?) but he is now having a little run in the side and looking well worth his place.

Huddersfield Town are the visitors tomorrow night and after shipping 10 goals in new boss Mark Robbins' first two games, they will have been relieved with Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Ipswich Town.

That result aside though, they are a side we should be taking points off and hopefully we can get our own season back on track with a much needed three at the Turf tomorrow night.

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