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Clarets Blog: Alarm bells are going off now
The international break has probably come at a good time for Burnley.
At least there’ll be no morale-sapping defeat next Saturday and it gives the manager some time to think about what’s going wrong and how he might go about fixing it.
Because let’s be honest – it is going wrong.
The last week is unlikely to be remembered fondly.
Hot on the heels of the no-show at Huddersfield, we learned that none of the Steven Fletcher sell-on money would be made available for squad-strengthening.
That was followed by making hard work of disposing of a struggling League Two side in the Capital One Cup and a defeat to Brighton that has set alarm bells ringing in some sections.
The latest setback means that the Clarets have come out on top just four times in their last 19 Championship games.
And while that might be a slightly misleading statistic, as it stretches over the back end of the last campaign and the start of this season, it’s still not one that inspires confidence.
Speaking of last season, the recurring problems that dogged Burnley then do not appear to have been addressed.
We’re still slow to start games, we’re still shipping too many goals – two to Huddersfield and three to both Middlesbrough and Brighton – despite splashing out on Jason Shackell to bolster the defence, and we’re still suffering from a worrying lack of creativity.
As far as making chances goes, Eddie Howe has been badly let down by the form of his wide men.
Ross Wallace and Junior Stanislas were both impotent at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Yet when Keith Treacy and Alex MacDonald were given their opportunity against Plymouth, the former was given the hook after an unproductive 45 minutes while the latter, although a willing runner, did nothing in his two hours on the pitch to suggest that opposition full backs would be having sleepless nights at the prospect of going toe-to-toe with him.
In fairness to the manager he’s attempted to do something about that by shipping out MacDonald and bringing in reinforcements in that department – although Dane Richards won’t be here until next year and there’s a limit to how excited you can get about a player who struggles to break into Hull City’s starting 11.
September is too early for people to be talking about panic buttons.
But on the evidence of what we’ve seen so far, there’s certainly cause for concern.