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Clarets Blog: Turf jeers bordered on the ridiculous
I do not think I have ever been more thankful for an international break.
I know that isn’t a view shared by Eddie Howe and the players but having sat through two absolutely woeful performances in the last few days, I think we will all benefit from a two-week trial separation.
Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup against Plymouth Argyle was bad enough but at least we had the excuse of it being a team of fringe players who hadn’t seen much action this season.
On Saturday, everything just seemed very flat.
Playing just one up top, with Charlie Austin handed the unenviable task of ploughing a lonely furrow, seemed to send out a negative message to the fans, whose response was far from helpful.
I have no problem with fans airing their views but the constant jeers and criticism from the stands bordered on the ridiculous on Saturday.
We all want to see free-flowing football but at times we have to be patient and if that means playing the ball back and keeping hold of possession then so be it.
The simple fact is that if you have the ball, the opposition cannot hurt you. So why the howls of discontent when we choose to keep it for a spell?
The trouble is that the players take that on board and try to rush the ball forward only to lose it and then feel the wrath of the stands.
In the second half we went two up front with the addition of Martin Paterson and we looked far more dangerous.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that when the chants of ‘Eddie Howe’s Claret and Blue Army’ went up, the performance on the pitch was lifted.
That is what we want to see because this is a young team and we need to manage the levels of expectation.
Turf Moor is a superb arena to play football in and we know all know that the fans are the 12th man because it is a fact that has been acknowledged by managers and players alike stretching back decades.
We were spoilt a bit by the Bolton game but I am pretty sure that Eddie and the lads will be working hard to put things right over the next two weeks.
He said after the game that he’d have played on Sunday if he could to get the performance out of the system and I think that shows you just how much it hurt.
We were poor. Very poor. But in the first half, only a superb strike from man of the moment Craig Mackail-Smith was the difference between the two sides.
The equaliser came from an own goal but we then had a couple of great chances to get in front from Austin twice and a header from Junior Stanislas which he really should have buried after escaping the attentions of his marker.
Lee Grant, a passenger for much of the game, then pulled off a superb stop from Mackail-Smith before the Scotland striker’s wonderful overhead kick nudged Gus Poyet’s team into the lead.
We huffed and puffed a little bit to no avail but the game was all over two minutes from time when Gordon Greer made amends for his earlier own goal by heading in at the right end.
The boos at the end will have been taken on board by the players and they will be as anxious as anyone to get back on the fans’ side when they are back at the Turf in just under a fortnight’s time.
We need to play our part as well so I would urge all fans to wipe the slate clean over the next two weeks and come back against Peterborough United and get fully behind the lads.
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