Well, that sucked. It was not been the best of weeks to be a Burnley fan, with three losses and three under-par performances failing to fill us with much Christmas cheer.

I had a lot of time on the way back from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to ponder a disappointing week.

Were we expecting to get anything out of the Manchester City and Spurs games? No probably not.

So this should have been a week of one win and two losses. Losing at home to Crystal Palace does make things feel a lot worse than they should do but realistically we are only three points shy of what we hoped to gain.

That’s a decent level of perspective there and makes me feel a little better.

Losing so many key players from your first team is going to hurt any team, but when you’re operating with a squad as small as ours then you are naturally going to feel it more.

Our first choice 11 is good enough to finish on 50 points in this league, but that’s assuming that everyone stays fit and suspension-free. Which brings me onto my main gripe. The recruitment lottery.

We started the game at Spurs unable to fill a bench and had to name two of the young lads to ensure we met our quota.

Now I’m delighted for them, I really am, but it’s absolutely unforgivable that we are in this position after so long in the Premier League. We have to recruit in January. And actually strengthen our first team.

There has been a lot of talk about the full backs, but the key positions for me is central midfield.

Take Ashley Westwood out of the game and we have a midfield made out of tissue paper.

It was interesting to see Danny Drinkwater in the side for the Palace game and on the whole I think he did okay. Why he didn’t start then at Spurs is bit of a head-scratcher.

So where do we get back on track?

Despite some cracking performances of late, we absolutely can beat Newcastle at home at the weekend. I have a lot of praise for what Steve Bruce has done there, especially considering that everyone had written him off before he even started but we are a better side than them, I’m sure of it.

The task at hand is of course going to be made easier with the return of the two Ashleys (thank you Santa) and some good old fashioned fighting spirit.

I end this week’s piece with a plea away from the game.

Christmas is undoubtedly a time of joy, but for many it can also be a time of hardship and pressure. Burnley is a close-knit community but also one that is feeling the pinch more than others.

The food deposit bins will once again be spread across Turf Moor before the game and if you can spare anything, anything at all, then please do.

Christmas is a time for giving and for goodwill to all. We think nothing of spending £10 on fancy wrapping that gets instantly thrown away.

We can use our money more efficiently and help those in need.