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Clarets Blog: There’s much more to come from the Clarets
Clarets boss Eddie Howe could be forgiven for wanting to play at Pride Park every week after brace from on-fire Charlie Austin was enough to lift us up to 15th in the Championship table.
It was a day when Burnley were very much on the back foot and at times had to defend resolutely with keeper Lee Grant again pulling off a couple of superb saves to keep the Rams at bay.
Grany has come in for a lot of unnecessary stick from Burnley fans but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he suffers from not being Brian Jensen.
As much as I like the big Dane – and as much as I have been critical myself of Grant in the past – he’s done superbly well this season, despite not keeping a clean sheet since the first day against Bolton Wanderers.
At the other end of the pitch, Austin notched his eighth and ninth goals of what has been a very fruitful campaign for the former builder.
His form this season, and last, is certainly not what I thought he was capable of when he arrived from Swindon Town.
Howe clearly saw his potential and now we are reaping the rewards and if anything we could find we have a battle on our hands to keep hold of him in January.
After an indifferent start to the season, in which I am still not convinced we have played to our potential except in the win over Bolton last month, we have a big chance now to put together a run of results.
Getting that first away win of the season at Derby County on Saturday was crucial because the longer the run goes on, the more drastic the lack of confidence.
The loss at Leicester City on Wednesday night was disappointing and again I don’t think we performed anywhere near the level that is expected.
But to go back to the Midlands this weekend and come away with all three points showed great spirit.
Howe, who revealed after the match that he almost substituted Austin before the striker popped up with the late headed winner, spoke of the importance of winning ugly and it is probably one quality we haven’t quite mastered yet.
He brought in Ben Mee and the defender, making his first start of the season, repaid the bosses faith with two assists.
With a trip to Swindon on Tuesday and another important home game against struggling Millwall, Howe will probably chop and change the side this week.
I just hope players take their chance to try and break into the managers plans.
Those who played against Plymouth Argyle in the last round of the Capital One Cup didn’t really grasp that chance but the trip to Paolo di Canio’s Swindon could hand some of them another opportunity to impress.
The visit of Millwall presents us with our best chance to put together back-to-back league wins and fire us further up the table.
The Londners have struggled for form in the same way we have but if we can put them to the sword in the same way we did Peterborough during the last match at the Turf then it should be a relatively straight forward task.
We obviously cannot take anything for granted – we are Burnley after all – but a repeat of the performance on and off the pitch will certainly give us a great chance of putting another three points on the board.
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