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Dan Clough column: Our rule over the Clarets goes on
THIRTY-three years, 232 days is a long time in general, not just in football, and Rovers’ proud record against our bitter rivals still stands. Just.
Rovers can count themselves lucky to have taken a point from this game, which Burnley dominated for the most part.
Yes we took the lead and looked better in the second half, but I am unhappy to say that Burnley looked by far the better team.
The first half was a devastating display of dominance from the home side. Rovers just weren’t in it.
Paul Robinson pulled off a number of saves to deny the Clarets the lead.
And centre backs Scott Dann and Grant Hanley both put in their fair share of last ditch tackles, but with Charlie Austin on the loose, they could really have done with some help.
The midfield looked weak. Danny Murphy’s distribution was pretty poor and there was little penetration on the wings.
Pedersen tried hard and you can tell his heart is in it. Mauro Formica, although willing to get stuck in if needed, was more a passenger than an active participant in most exchanges.
The tactic seemed to be to launch the ball forward to Jordan Rhodes, but we have seen time and time again that it just doesn’t work.
There was, it seemed, no creative spark whatsoever.
And Colin Kazim-Richards, well, if the ball isn’t within a yard of him he can’t be bothered to go for it.
As the two sides headed off for the half-time break, you couldn’t help but feel we were very lucky to still be level, and Burnley must have been wondering just what they had to do to score.
As one Burnley fan near me said: “I am thoroughly enjoying watching the worst Rovers side I have seen in 30 years.”
Henning Berg’s team talk didn’t seem to make much of a difference as the second half got under way, with the pattern of the game continuing in much the same way as the first.
But it was the introduction of Manchester United loanee Josh King that made a big difference.
This lad appears to have real pace and a raw determination that had been sadly lacking from our midfield.
Brought on for Pedersen, who had put his heart and soul into the match and was the most experienced player on the pitch in terms of games against Burnley, he reinvigorated the Rovers attack.
Pedersen could probably count himself unfortunate to make way for his countryman, but King’s introduction did make a difference.
He had the beating of his opposite number on the left wing every time he got the ball and looked dangerous.
The goal itself came as we were enjoying a good portion of the play, and it was a great ball from Formica – who performed much better in the second half than in the first – that found Rhodes who stooped to nod the ball home.
As the match drew to a close you could feel the equaliser coming. Burnley wanted it. They needed it.
And Vokes duly delivered, becoming, and I really do love this stat, the first Burnley player to score against Rovers at the Turf since Peter Noble in 1979. Have that.
In terms of our form at the moment, a draw wasn’t what we needed. Three points are desperately required and next Friday’s game at home to Cardiff won’t be easy.
But in this game we have to be happy with the point.
Speaking to Burnley-supporting associates, they smelled blood going into this match. They sensed a first victory in all those years, and for us to avoid that was half the battle.
A point on the road is never a bad thing and this was no exception.
It is never a good sign when a keeper is one of your best players in a match, but we did have Robinson to thank for a number of quality saves.
But the run continues. Thirty-three years, 233 days. See you in March for round two me dear Clarets.
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