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Burnley FC blog: Millwall blow isn't the end of a dream
Well that wasn’t meant to happen was it? Some would say it was very typical of Burnley, get the fans believing we had turned a corner and then go and “throw one in”.
Saturday’s game with Millwall really was a bad day at the office, especially after the recent successes both home and away.
It could have been so much worse but the fact that many of our play off rivals also dropped points means we are still in a good position.
I have to say though, we cannot afford many more performances like the one on Saturday if we are serious about promotion this term.
Millwall, to their credit and on the back of a good result over Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers in midweek, came with a game plan and executed it perfectly.
We were in second place all over the park and after looking solid in the two preceding games, the defence was truly woeful.
Lee Grant was static all afternoon and Michael Duff and Clarke Carlisle both put in shifts they will want to forget against a well-organised and nippy Millwall side who took full advantage to rack up goals seemingly at ease.
The one thing boss Eddie Howe cannot allow the players to do is wallow in this.
The scoreline may suggest otherwise but this is a minor blip for me and how we react against Coventry tomorrow night will make or break our season.
The boss has resisted the chance to make changes so far but on Saturday, few players could hold their hands up with any conviction and declare they had good enough games.
I know Ross Wallace has had his knockers but he was the only player who could come out of the game with any real credit.
He is starting to show a bit of form and while I may not have said this a few months ago, he could be the key man between now and the end of the campaign.
Personally, I think a few players will benefit from a rest and the fact we are able to field a strong bench every game shows we do have strength in depth.
The likes of Andre Bikey, Brian Jensen, Graham Alexander and David Edgar have been patiently waiting their turn and will be knocking on the door for a start tomorrow.
And I couldn’t blame them. Football is a squad game and Howe must use his squad intelligently, not only to keep players happy but also to get the best out of them.
Loan signing Nathan Delfouneso was starved of service for the most part of the game but I am sure the Turf Moor crowd will see him in full flight tomorrow.
A goal within a couple minutes of his debut was always going to be a tough act to follow but even in a game which wasn’t really suited to Burnley’s strikers, there was still one or two glimpses of what we can expect over the next couple of months.
Coventry present another challenge but I am sure the lads will be wanting to bounce back straight away and get the three points in what is one of our games in hand on those above us.
There is still a long way to go but the play offs are still well within our sights and a win tomorrow will give us just the timely boost we need ahead of a difficult to Bristol City on Saturday and the international break the week after.
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