Date: 29th October 2007 at 3:09pm
Written by:

It`s very hard to find anything positive to say about this woeful Clarets performance as we went down to our first home defeat of the season to Southampton in a 3-2 mauling. What made it even worse, was that the Sky cameras were there to record the fiasco. I suppose we can count ourselves lucky we were not four down in the first fifteen minutes and somehow found the tenacity to keep plugging away and get a goal back to go in at half-time 1-2 down.

We had been informed before the match that there were injury doubts over Caldwell, Blake and Jordan but the gaffer named all three in his starting eleven. The team therefore lined up as follows:

Kiraly, Alexander, Caldwell Carlisle, Jordan, Elliott, Spicer, McCann, Lafferty, Blake, Gray.

Subs: Jensen, Harley, Akinbiyi, Unsworth, Mahon

Two familiar faces lined up for the Saints with both Wayne Thomas and Nathan Dyer named in the starting eleven

Referee, Nigel Miller got the match underway

Bradley Wright-Phillips collected Viafara’s ball to put the visitors ahead in only the second minute. Stern John and Wright-Phillips both hit the post for the Saints but then on 15 minutes Jason Euell scored from a header after a cross from former loan Nathan Dyer.

We looked shaky and awful in defence and we couldn`t seem to put any passes together in midfield with the attack lacking drive and initiative

Somehow though the Clarets stuck to their guns and pulled a goal back after Chris McCann converted Andy Gray’s pass in the 31st minute.

1-2 at half-time and therefore some hope for the second half even though we had been completely outplayed

The hope didn`t last long though with John again beating our non-existant defence to restore the Saints’ two goal lead after only six minutes into the second half. It was going to be one of those days and it would have to be in front of Sky TV. This was quite simply the worst Clarets performance of the season by some distance

Ade Akinbiyi came on after 69 minutes to replace Elliott and scored a typical Ade goal after 83 minutes to set up a tense final seven minutes for the Saints. You could sense it was not going to happen and it didn`t. Three points dropped and a chance to be sixth in the league squandered! I suppose we have to be thankful that we are still only three points off the play-off positions with a game in hand but how long will be able to keep saying that? We wont for long on the basis of that dreadful performance. We are now 12th and lets not look over our shoulder at the relegation places, we are six points clear of them, nine had we played and beaten QPR.(our game in hand)

This is simply not good enough though. What on earth has happened to our defence? Are we missing Duff that badly? Are we missing Caldwell`s captaincy and solidity in defence? Well Caldwell was on the pitch for the first 10 minutes and clearly was not fit being replaced by Unsworth. By that time most of the damage had already been done. Our defence or lack of it, is the most worrying aspect of our play at the moment; if the confidence in defence continues to falter we are going to be in a precarious position and god help Steve Cotterill if we go on a losing spree again

This defeat has again given ammunition to the Cotterill-Out brigade and it`s getting more and more difficult for the pro-Cotterill lobby to support the gaffer and defend against their taunts. This is not the time to panic though after only our first home defeat since the end of last season in the league and we are nearly in November. This league is for the taking with only nine points separating the 22nd club Crystal Palace and the 6th placed club, Stoke City. My position is still the same on this, we wait till Christmas and we take stock of where we are and the situation regarding any incomings and outgoings in the January 2008 transfer window. If we are still there or there abouts by Xmas and have a sniff of the play-offs, then we should get fully behind the team and manager and cheer them on for the second half of the season.

The danger by then is that we might be struggling and looking over our shoulder at the relegation places. If that is the case then Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood may have to make difficult decisions but I am hopeful our current gaffer will not be one of the outgoings! Its time though the team found that consistency and began to start taking this league by storm. Everytime we get a chance to exert our authority we seem to wimp out. I am not prepared though to take many more games like the one on Saturday and the team need to pull their socks up big time and start playing with some passion and drive. This Editor had driven 180 miles up North to watch this rubbish, when he could have stayed at home in comfy slippers and watched the fiasco on TV instead. No thank you, this is one Sky Plus recording that`s being wiped. I am not going to watch that drivel again.
Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Caldwell (Unsworth 10), Carlisle, Jordan, Elliott (Akinbiyi 69), Spicer, McCann, Lafferty, Blake (Mahon 57), Gray.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Harley.

Booked: Akinbiyi.

Goals: McCann 31, Akinbiyi 83.

Southampton: Davis, Ifil, Dailly, Thomas, Vignal, Dyer, Euell, Viafara, Idiakez (Surman 86), Wright-Phillips, John (Rasiak 70).

Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Saganowski, Skacel.

Goals: Wright-Phillips 3, Euell 15, John 51.

Ref: Nigel Miller (Durham).