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Burnley FC blog: Fans must also raise their game
THE winter coat has peaked far too early, so have the thermals as winds blow and temperatures drop just a month into the new season.
But what really left me cold on Saturday was the atmosphere at Turf Moor.
Burnley supporters were on the edge of their seats in the first minute as the Clarets attacked Middlesbrough straight from the kick-off.
But once Nicky Bailey gave the visitors a 10th minute lead, it was as if someone had hit the mute button in the home stands.
“You’re so quiet, we’ll sing on our own!” mocked the travelling Boro pack, breaking up a virtual silence at Turf Moor.
The only time Burnley voices could be heard was to have a go at the referee or moan about a mis-placed pass.
Such was the regularity of both the waves of jeers made it feel like we’d gatecrashed Prime Minister’s questions.
Granted, there was little to inspire the crowd, but a player is hardly expected to feel good about themselves amid those reactions.
Pondering what triggers a football ground atmosphere is like trying to decide whether the chicken or the egg came first.
Good play whips up the fans, similarly players often respond to vocal backing.
The James Hargreaves Stand rocking against Reading and Manchester United – aside from slightly terrifying in our lofty position – made for some of the finest atmospheres I’ve experienced in football. Since relegation, though, the comedown has been significant.
Success at Wembley in May 2009 raised expectations beyond what now seem like unmanageable levels.
The aim of everyone at the club, still, is to return to the top flight.
If Burnley have a hope of achieving that, YES, things have to improve on the pitch, but supporters must play their part off it too.
If there is so much apathy among pockets of fans, ill-feeling among others, even at this early stage of the season, how can the club possibly move forward?
Read the Burnley FC jury only in today's Lancashire Telegraph newspaper.
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