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Stephen Cummings: Time to change the record at Ewood
Conventional wisdom had it that the last fortnight would see the wheels start to fall off Burnley’s promotion challenge and that normal service would be resumed at the head of the Championship. Well, so much for conventional wisdom.
Nottingham Forest visited the Turf and Billy Davies and his £25m squad were sent home with their collective tail between their legs, having been made to look very ordinary following a chastening lesson in the art of attacking football.
Next in line were Derby County, managed by a man so bland he makes Eddie Howe look interesting by means of comparison.
County offered slightly more resistance and enterprise than their local rivals but still found themselves unable to cope with the pressure.
The net result of the last fortnight is plus four on the goal difference, a five point gap between the Clarets and the chasing pack and a reinforcement of the belief that this is our season.
But back to Saturday for a moment. Steve McClaren and Derby arrived at Turf Moor as the pundits’ favourites to emerge from the play-off places and claim automatic promotion. Except it didn’t quite work out like that.
Burnley might not have begun with the same flair and elan with which they tore through Forest seven days previously, but the longer the half went on the more they manoeuvred themselves into a position of authority.
David Jones’ goal was unusual in a number of respects.
Firstly, it featured the genuinely bizarre sight of Andre Wisdom trying to run on his knees, secondly the quality of the strike makes you wonder how Jones hasn’t been among the goals more frequently, and thirdly Lee Grant managed the almost impossible act of being lobbed while standing on his line.
McClaren can moan all he wants about Chris Martin’s dismissal.
The truth of the matter is that if you go around with the intent of roughing up the opposition, the referee may not look too favourably at you when it comes to a decision which could go either way.
Meanwhile, Sunday will hopefully see us finally reverse a trend that has been going on for far too long.
And before our friends on the A666 (you couldn’t script it, could you?) get all smug on us with talk of 1978 and all that, they might want to have a look at the number of records this Burnley team has already broken this season.
If not now, then when? Come on, you Clarets.
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