It’s unlikely that Burnley Football Club will experience a better week between now and the end of this season.
As Lee Grant waved in Matty Fryatt’s second goal at The Circle just over a week ago to gift Hull a 2-0 lead, no-one could have predicted that seven days later the Clarets would have scored nine goals, taken nine points and moved from the fringes of the relegation zone to a highly creditable tenth place.
Four straight league defeats, including late collapses against Leeds and Birmingham, did not suggest a mini-revival was just around the corner.
While the result at Hull was undoubtedly freakish, the same could not be said of the midweek rout of Ipswich. Paul Jewell’s side may have been bursting with experience featuring the likes of
Bullard, Bowyer, Kennedy and Chopra but they were no match for Burnley, who dominated midfield, successfully raided the opposition flanks and took full advantage of a ragged and rudderless Town. In
the end, 4-0 flattered the visitors.
And so to Upton Park. Not only had the Clarets failed to record victory at the Boleyn Ground for almost 40 years, but Burnley had never fared well against Sam Allar-dyce teams: just two reasons why
few of the claret and blue faithful expected much from the game.
In the end, not only did Eddie Howe’s men claim the points, but they came from behind to do so.
Only the Hammers and Middlesbrough have now won more games on enemy territory.
It was an incredible end to an unbelievable week – one which went a long way to fulfilling the hope that Turf Moor will host Championship football next term.
They can take another step towards that goal with victory this weekend over troubled Portsmouth, yet to win on their travels.
Whilst Pompey have struggled for goals on the road (just six strikes in nine games), the opposite is true for the Clarets. While there exist glaring deficiencies in other areas of the team (a shaky
defence, no left back and no genuine ball-winning midfielder), Burnley’s striking resources make them the envy of the Championship.
Jay Rodriguez has found form, Sam Vokes brings physical presence and goals and Charlie Austin looks the part at this level.
And that’s without factoring in the unknown quantity that is Danny Ings and the speed-merchant workaholic, Martin Paterson.
Three or four recruits in the January transfer window could make this team a force to be reckoned with.