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WILLIE IRVINE COLUMN: Burnley fans - 'Your club needs you'
THIS is an urgent message for Burnley fans: Your club needs you!
For a team that is sitting second in the league, and has been in the top three since September, their lofty position and eye-catching football is not being reflected in home attendances.
The average attendance at Turf Moor is 12,382. Considering the Clarets have not been beaten at home in 19 league games, this figure needs to be higher. The players and manager deserve more.
And bigger crowds could make all the difference in the run-in.
Of the 15 games Burnley have left this season, eight of them are at home – with the first two against top six rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby County in the space of a week.
Leicester have to come here later next month.
There are some huge games on the horizon, and the Clarets would benefit from huge home crowds.
The players will want to ‘go for it’ and I would appeal to all supporters to come out in numbers and roar them on for the final lap of what could prove to be a memorable season.
If they fans flock in for the rest of the season, then they could turn around at the end of it and say: ‘I played my part. I helped the club.’
Burnley helped themselves to a point at Bournemouth, on a pitch which didn’t allow us to play the passing game which has contributed to our good season so far.
I thought when Keith Treacy scored a deserved equaliser in the 67th minute it was his way of getting his own back over former Clarets boss Eddie Howe, who he fell out with towards the end of his tenure.
How times have changed since then. Sean Dyche has had Keith in his office and rekindled the winger’s enthusiasm for the game simply by addressing his problems and airing them. Let’s hope that by doing that his demons are gone for good.
Sam Vokes and Danny Ings would have loved to have played their part in being on the winning team against their old club.
It wasn’t their day, which is perhaps no surprise as going back can be an emotional occasion.
Old colleagues, like Howe and assistant boss Jason Tindall, know most of you movements, and old team-mates will talk to you to try to unsettle you during the game and make you lose concentration.
The only time I experienced this was when I played against Burnley for Brighton.
Colin Waldron and Jim Thompson were the centre halves. Burnley won, of course, but I can still hear those two chattering away at me.
But back to the present Burnley side and the last three games have given us seven points and a four-point cushion before the visits of Forest and Derby, after Reading did us a favour in beating QPR.
I’m sure the players will rise to these next two occasions and move us a step nearer automatic promotion.
I hope the fans can do the same.