Clarets Blog: Burnley make hard work of it but things are looking up

First published in Burnley FC blogs Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get a win, as long as you get it.

And at Brighton on Saturday, that was certainly the case.

Playing against nine men for more that three quarters of the game should have seen the Clarets put the home side well out of site.

But, in the end, Eddie Howe’s side had to settle for a 1-0 win, courtesy of a great strike from Kieran Trippier.

We rode our luck a lot towards the end and Howe will not be pleased with the ease at which we switched off in the latter stages, almost allowing Gus Poyet’s side to snatch an undeserved point.

The sending offs changes the game and to be fair, for long periods it wasn’t even a game.

Poyet refused to talk about the red cards for fear of being slapped with a fine from the FA but his behaviour throughout probably warrants a stern word from the powers that be.

I always liked him as a player but his performance at the Amex Community Stadium on Saturday wiped most of that respect away.

The win has moved the Clarets up to 11th and had we not let the game against Portsmouth last week slip then we could have been going into the busy festive period in even better shape.

Still, the recent revival has been pleasing and a clean sheet on Saturday is richly deserved for a defence who haven’t shown too many weaknesses in recent weeks.

Having four strikers fully fit and firing will definitely help us and it was pleasing to see Martin Paterson given the start, albeit in a wider position.

Charlie Austin and Sam Vokes also got run outs in the second half.

The danger is of course that some other clubs will come sniffing around the likes of Jay Rodriguez, Charlie and Pato come January and we have to make sure we keep our heads and turn down any unwanted advances.

Keeping hold of our best players has to be a priority, even with our less than healthy financial situation.

Letting other teams come in and take them would be absolutely criminal and would again raise plenty of questions I am sure on the message boards and in the pubs.

It has been a strange old season and I still don’t think we have hit our top gear yet which makes the wins in the last few weeks even more pleasing.

Are we out of the promotion hunt? My head says probably but my heart says no.

If we can come out of the Christmas run of games - at home to Doncaster Rovers on Boxing Day and Hull City on New Year’s Eve and away to Leeds United on January 2 - with a decent points tally then it could be very much game on.

Eddie is finally seeing his best laid plans come good and whatever happens, I think it should be obvious to all Burnley fans that the days of aging journeymen at Turf Moor are long gone, replaced by this new youthful look which can only be of benefit to us in the future.

I’ve still got a sneaky feeling this season is not over for the Clarets and sitting just five points off Leeds in sixth, in a league where anything can happen, means 2012 could be an exciting time.

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