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Andrew Greaves: I'm glad we avoided the agony of play-offs
AFTER seeing the reaction of the Reading fans at the end of our game on Saturday, all I can say is I’m glad it wasn’t us.
The Championship always provides drama at the business end of the season so it was a relief to know that we were home and hosed and that we could enjoy the game, win lose or draw.
In the end we had to settle for a draw and finish the season on a positive note.
The same couldn’t be said of our hosts who missed out on the final play-off place when Brighton grabbed a last-gasp winner at Nottingham Forest.
In truth, the Clarets probably should have been much further ahead at the break having come back from a goal down – a Kieran Trippier own goal no less – to lead 2-1 thanks to goals from Scott Arfield and Danny Ings.
It was good to see Ings on the scoresheet and break a duck, which went back to his winner in the East Lancashire derby against our neighbours, who also missed out on a play-off spot.
You kind of sensed we had a little bit of luck on our side in the opening seconds when referee Mick Russell waved away appeals for penalty when Pavel Progrebnyak’s shot appeared to strike Jason Shackell on the arm.
The did take the lead through Trips’ OG but, as we have come to expect from Sean Dyche’s side this term, the Clarets bounced back twice as hard.
The equaliser was the culmination of a great move, Arfield – who must surely be one of the best free signings of the season alongside teammates Tom Heaton and David Jones – sweeping home from 15 yards out following a good cutback from Dean Marney.
The Clarets were ahead before the break, Ings finding a yard of space when it seemed there wasn’t one and firing in off the post.
We looked pretty comfortable and it was probably always going to take something special for the Royals to equalise and they certainly did get something special, Gareth McCleary with an absolute worldy.
The home side pushed and pushed but could find a way past the Clarets’ defence, something which will bode well for next season.
This term has been absolutely fantastic and, unlike the last time we were in the top flight, I genuinely think we can surprise a few people next season.
The lads have shown week in, week out how resilient they are and Saturday was more evidence of that.
We can now sit back, enjoy the summer and look forward to kicking off in August in a division higher that those down the road!
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