Clarets Blog: Festive period is rarely a thing to cheer at Turf Moor

First published in Stephen Cummings Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Burnley FC fan columnist

By the time you read this, the probability is that you’ll have received at least half a dozen unwanted gifts, had a massive row with your Uncle Derek over the gloopy consistency of his brandy butter sauce and groaned with incredulity at the realisation of just how quickly your waistline can expand over a 48-hour period.

Such is Christmas. All in all it’s best experienced with a snifter in your hand; just like Burnley’s league form over the festive period.

Have the Clarets ever performed well during the season of goodwill? Not that this columnist can recall. Not even in promotion seasons.

The recollection of Stan Ternent’s team going to Bury in the teeming Boxing Day rain, shipping four goals and having a man sent off all before half-time, during our season of elevation from the third tier to the second, still haunts the memory.

Fast forward 12 months and so appalled was Ternent with his charges’ lacklustre display at Barnsley, that he accused them of enjoying “too much plum duff” and famously cancelled Christmas.

Even under Owen Coyle during Burnley’s outstanding 2009/10 season, which of course culminated in promotion to the Premier League, the Clarets campaign was threatened by derailment for as long as the Christmas tree lights remained up.

So anybody looking for some festive fun down Harry Potts’ Way this afternoon is either a new supporter or one who has been spending too long with the Christmas sherry.

Yet maybe things won’t go to script this season and Burnley will surprise us all against Doncaster, Hull and Leeds.

Only Bristol and Coventry have recorded fewer home wins than Burnley this season. But then only the hapless Ipswich have conceded more goals than Doncaster on their travels during 2010/11. So you sense that if ever an opportunity presented itself to get Christmas off to a flyer, the visit of Donny might just be it.

Since our freakish win at the Circle, Hull have picked up under Nick Barmby and the Tigers will, no doubt, be looking for revenge. But it is by no means an un-winnable game.

Many would fear a trip to over the Pennines to Elland Road, but with the form for the Clarets on the road this term, there’s no reason why Burnley, with six away wins under their belt, should travel to Leeds with anything but quiet confidence.

Who knows? Maybe this Christmas, things will be different after all.


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