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Clarets Blog: We must stand by Laws
One away win in 31 games stretching back to last season is a pretty shocking record.
Judging by the reaction of Clarets’ fans after our latest setback on the road, there is no doubt where the blame lies.
Luckless Brian Laws must be wondering whether it is all worth it, I’m pretty sure I would be if I was in his shoes.
After my frustrations with him last season, I had been prepared to give him a chance this season. We haven’t started that badly but I think we are coming to a junction in the season where decisions have to be made.
Our away form, and to a larger extent performances, are becoming a bit of a joke.
After a mediocre first half display at the Ricoh, we were poor at best in the second half and there is clearly a problem mentally within the side once we leave East Lancashire.
For me, Barry Kilby has to decide whether to stick or twist, as much for Laws’ sake as for the clubs.
Personally, I’ve never been 100 per cent convinced that Laws was the right man for the job but the fact we are two points off the play-offs in the strangest Champion-ship I have seen for years does give some comfort.
A lot of fans will point to the fact that we are, as of today, only seven points off the relegation places.
I’d say that is more evident of how strange - or poor - a league this is than anything Laws could do.
Changing a manager mid-season, unforced, has never been Mr Kilby’s style and I don’t see him changing that stance this term.
It can be counter-productive (see Middles-brough last term) and there isn’t many managers out there that make me sit up and say ‘let’s give it a go’.
There’s a lot of talk of the likes of Martin O’Neill but anyone who seriously thinks he would be interested needs to lay off the funny stuff. There is no way on earth that O’Neill, regularly tipped as “next England boss”, would even consider a drop down to the Champion-ship and, no matter how big a club we see ourselves as, nor should we expect him to.
The performances have been hit and miss at times this term but we are, at least, trying to play football.
Coventry were evidence again of the kind of side we are struggling against this season - the anti-football tactics and bitty style of play which we are going to have to learn to adopt if this campaign is going to be fruitful.
Is Laws up to the task? I’ve said before that he wasn’t up to keeping us in the Premier League but we knew that when he was appointed. Survival, after the departure of Owen Coyle, would have been a huge bonus.
This isn’t the Premier League and Brian Laws is not Owen Coyle.
His manner is more awkward - more honest? - than Coyle’s was and that is what, I think, a lot of Burnley fans hold against him.
He’s not trying to be Coyle yet our play is as good, if not better at times, than the stuff we played under him.
Laws may not be everyone’s cup of tea - he frustrates me at times - but he is manager of our football club and we have to support him.
Maybe an appearance by Robbie Savage on Saturday night will take the heat off him a bit.
Surely he’s a bigger target for the boo-boys then Laws?