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Clarets' play-off hopes almost over after crashing to Birmingham City
9:37am Wednesday 4th April 2012 in Burnley FC match reports
EDDIE Howe admitted to more frustration as Burnley’s hopes of clinching a late play-off spot are all but over following last night’s 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City at Turf Moor.
The Clarets have now gone four Championship matches without a victory at home after crashing to the Blues.
Marlon King gave the visitors an 11th minute lead when converted Nicola Zigic’s headed flick-on past goalkeeper Lee Grant.
The Clarets failed to get going in the first half, but they rallied after the interval and grabbed an equaliser on 73 minutes when Ross Wallace’s free-kick was headed home by Danny Ings.
However, the home side’s celebrations were cut short just two minutes later when Birmingham re-took the lead through Jordon Mutch.
David Murphy then killed off the match with just two minutes left.
“It was frustrating,” said Clarets manager Eddie Howe. “I thought we were by far the better side in the second half. They probably shaded the first half.
“But there wasn’t really that much difference between the two sides.
“We created some great chances in the second half. We got the goal, but we conceded three and we can’t afford to do that.
“That is an area of concern for us. We have conceded too many goals, especially at home. That’s something we have to look at.
Howe added: “I thought when we equalised we could go on and win the game. I've said that a few times this season.
“Momentum was with us but we conceded a very poor second goal.
“It's very tough when you work so hard to get back in a game and you concede straight away.”
It is still mathematically possible for Burnley to reach the Championship’s play-offs.
But 10 points adrift of sixth-placed Brighton, they would almost certainly require to win each of their remaining six league matches and hope for several teams in and around the play-off zone to suffer a poor run of form.
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