Date: 28th September 2011 at 8:33am
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Burnley won their first home league of the season in style last night romping home 5-1 victors against a very poor Nottingham Forest side. Beleaguered, Forest manager, Steve McClaren had no answer to Burnley`s complete domination and wakes up this morning knowing that once again his career at the City Ground could be on the line.

The victory did the Clarets a power of good though propelling the club five places up the league to 16th spot with now 9 points from 8 league games. The good news too is that we have a game in hand still over most of the clubs in the Championship and if we won that we would be just two points off the play-offs positions based on the current standings. We do still though have to keep things in perspective bearing in mind that we are also only just two points off the drop zone but let`s not concentrate on any negatives now in light of such a superb performance from the lads last night. This performance was sheer class and the match easily the best we have played all season. You could perhaps sense it was coming after such a good shift in the 1-1 draw against league leaders, Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Forest though were shockingly poor but we contributed to making sure they looked bad, really bad! The Clarets were 2-0 up within fifteen minutes thanks to a timely brace from Jay Rodriguez. We made it 3-0 just on the half-hour mark. Chris McCann stabbed in the third after some extremely sloppy defending by Forest. Having got rid of our own deadwood in the summer, we went on the Forest felling trail again when Wallace popped up to curl in a beauty just before half-time.

A stunning first half performance then from the Clarets and I certainly can`t remember the last time we went into the break 4-0 up, certainly not in recent times.

I guess it was inevitable we couldn`t keep the same pace and momentum going in the second half but we put in a damn good effort to try and do so! Just one thing soured an otherwise perfect night and that was conceding a goal to ensure that horrible clean-sheet statistic continued. Ishmael Miller’s low shot made it 4-1 on the hour mark making in 24 games now for the Clarets without keeping a clean sheet. There were a few scares to be honest in the second half from Forest who looked a little brighter but to be honest we still looked in total control and in the 71st minute we confirmed our dominance by getting a fifth! Austin’s looping header from a cross by Easton went in despite the best efforts of a defender on the line.

It was a remarkable night and one that raised all our spirits. The team now at long last seem to be really gelling together. It is early days and we have to hope our chances are not scuppered should we succumb to further injuries or suspensions. We have such a threadbare squad that a loss of another player to either injury or suspension could give Eddie Howe a headache. That was brought home to us with the realisation that both Tracy and Stanislas may have been unavailable for the Forest clash last night but thankfully in the end Stanislas at least made the starting eleven. Let`s pull out all the stops to supplement our squad via the loan market and hopefully also in the January window. For the first time last night, I saw some real potential in this squad in terms of a possible promotion challenge this season. It would be a shame to dent those prospects for the sake of one or two extra players not being brought in to provide cover. There are clearly too going to be some high-pressure games during this season, hopefully crucial ones to keep us in the promotion chase rather than a relegation battle. It will be at times like that, that experience will come to bear and if we could now just supplement the squad with such experience, promotion really could be on.

Team Sheet

Clarets fans were relieved to know that Junior Stanislas had passed a late fitness test ahead of the game and would start for the Clarets. Keith Treacy though remained sidelined with the hamstring injury that kept him out of the sixteen that played against Southampton at Turf Moor last Saturday.

With no further injury worries, Howe was able to name the same sixteen for the Forest game so we lined up as follows:

Grant, Trippier, Amougou, Edgar, Easton, Stanislas, McCann, Bartley, Wallace, Rodriguez, Austin

Subs: Stewart, Mee, Marney, MacDonald, Hines

Full Match Report

Tyne & Wear referee, Eddie Ilderton got the game underway on a mild, warm night in Burnley and it took the Clarets just fifteen minutes to go 2-0 up against a shell-shocked Forest looking for their second consecutive away win. Junior Stanislas got over a cross for Austin to leap into action and head the ball back into the danger area. A grateful Rodriguez was on hand to tower above Wes Morgan and head home to put the Clarets a goal ahead. Clarets fans hardly had time to catch their breath before ten minutes later it was 2-0. Stanislas was again the architect with another cross. Rodriguez was again in the right place to glance home his header into the far corner past Lee Camp.

The Clarets certainly had the bit between their teeth now but were almost pegged back after 20 minutes when in virtually Forest`s first attack Joel Lynch pounced after a mistake by Wallace led to the former Preston winger losing possession. He floated over a cross and Ishmael Miller should have done better with his attempt despite the attentions of Easton. Kieran Trippier was ripping the Forest defence to shreds down the flank and both Rodriguez and Austin came close to scoring from the defender`s low crosses. Camp then prevented Forest going further behind after saving from Austin following a Stanislas corner. It was only matter of time though before Burnley`s pressure told and that came just on the half-hour mark. The Clarets were awarded a corner and after Amougou`s effort was only half-blocked, McCann pounced to make it 3-0 from close range. McClaren could no nothing to prevent the Clarets surge and was even forced into making a substitution to try and stem the flow but all to no avail. Burnley continued to dominate and one minute before half-time they were rewarded with a fourth goal. Some awful Forest defending led the ball being given away to a thankful Wallace who thumped home past Camp from 20 yards out to make it an unbelievable 4-0 at half-time.

A buoyant set of home fans were then entertained at half-time to some magical moments of dance and pageantry from a shed-load of schoolchildren promoting a new community scheme. It was spoilt only by McLaren sending on his team while the kids were still performing. Bad taste indeed and what a plonker!

Forest though looked a little brighter at the start of the second-half no doubt having been given a rollicking by the former England gaffer and on the hour mark they managed to pull a goal back following Burnley`s complacency. Miller being the more powerful got the better of Edgar to shoot past Grant and give the despondent Forest fans something to cheer about at long last.

The goal was probably the kick up the backside that Burnley needed after taking their foot off the gas and Bartley came close to restoring our lead after a mazy run and shooting over the bar. Forest though nearly gave Burnley the jitters by pulling another goal back after substitute, Robbie Findley hit the woodwork when his volley hit the outside of the post.

The Clarets though began to then dominate again and if anybody was going to score next it looked more likely to be Burnley. That goal came in the 71st minute! Brian Easton got over a cross which was met by a rising Austin to head towards target. It looked like Forest had cleared the danger on the line but it turned out the ball had already crossed the line before Wes Morgan made contact so it was now 5-1. The last time Burnley scored five goals in a game? Yep, that too was against Forest in our promotion season.

It could have been even more embarrassing for Forest though when two of our substitutes, Dean Marney and Zavon Hines linked well to give the former West Ham striker, a chance for his first Burnley goal. His shot trickled towards the corner of the goal and had he hit it a little harder, it may well have crossed the line. Morgan this time though did manage to clear the danger. Forest did have a couple of late attempts in an effort to save some face but both were thwarted; one by the keeper denying Miller and one by the post denying McGugan following a deflected shot in stoppage time.

The emphatic victory though was ours on a wonderful September evening! This win really could kick-start our season and now all we need to do is play like this with some consistency.

Match Stats

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Amougou, Easton, McCann, Wallace, Stanislas (Hines 76), Bartley (MacDonald 80), Rodriguez, Austin (Marney 76

Subs Not Used: Stewart, Mee

Goals: Rodriguez 5, 15, McCann 29, Wallace 44, Austin 71

Booked: 0

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Hill, Chambers, Morgan, Gunter (Findley 27), Lynch, Reid (Majewski 46), Greening, Moussi, Derbyshire (McGugan 75), Miller

Subs Not Used: Smith, Tudgay

Goal: Miller 59

Booked: Yellow card for Chambers

Possession: 56% Burnley, 44% Nottingham Forest (Source: BBC Sport)

Ref: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)


15 Replies to “The Clarets De-Forestation Job!”

  • TMP. Does this mean you are now having faith in the team or are the youngsters still not going to do it? I know we need another couple of players but is the panic over?

  • The encouraging thing is they seem to be gelling together more and playing as a team! Yesterday’s performance if repeated enough times should make us promotion candidates but I just fear we need more squad cover and more experience in the team for when push comes to shove. It would be a tragedy to lose out by a few points for the sake of spending a bit more on 2-3 key players! I did at least satisfy myself that relegation is not a likely outcome now providing we dont revert back to those Boro days and the earlier part of the season!

  • To early to say whether the squad is big enough or strong enough for promotion, but lets not get carried away lets see if we can get a result at Millwall. To be honest Forrest was one of the worst teams i have seen at the Turf in a long time but credit where credit due we are playing some attractive football. Why has it taken so long for Bartley to get into the team, for me best player again last night really given the midfield some backbone these last two games.

  • I honestly believe promotion could be an immense possiblity. There is so much potential in this side, and its great because you know these players are going to get better and better. Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin seem to be forming a magnificent partnership up front and both look lethal in front of goal. Marvin Bartley has been absolutely magnificent recently. Everybody has been saying that we need another midfielder to play alongside McCann, but we dont need one now that we have seen Bartley at the top of his game. His pace offers us so much and he has an incredible stamina, running himself into the ground every week for us. In addition to this he is excellent at breaking up the play and putting the other team under pressure when in possession. Stanislas and Wallace were great on the wings, with Junior’s delivery looking brilliant and Wallace scoring a great individual goal. Everybody put in a great performance and this team looks like they can beat anybody on their day. Eddie Howe’s strategy is one that the club desperately needed, and is taking full advantage of now.

  • It was always going to take a bit of time for the team to gel and let’s not forget that no promotion or relegation issues are decided in September. Those of us who have been around a bit no that with such a new side there will be some defeats to come but many more victories too. Given time I have no doubt that Eddie will get it right and I’m right behind him. For now, at least we have a home victory on the board and, at last, I have got myself off the mark in our Prediction League. I still didn’t get the score right but certainly garnered a point for the correct outcome.

  • Still think that stamina will be the issue. They looked tired during all three of the last after the hour mark. Having said that they were still good just not stunning like they were in the first half last night.

  • I still think the key to all this will be leadership and direction on the pitch when things start going badly. Not just from the captain but from old experienced hands in the team. At the moment I think we are lacking in both those requirements. Stamina, yes could be an issue and we do seem to run out of steam a lot for a young side but surely also small squad size could become an issue if we suffer any more injuries and/or suspensions. A win the likes of Forest lifts everybody’s spirits but it’s still gonna be a long season and I don’t think we can really judge our chances until at least Christmas

  • A very, very encouraging performance and a credit to Eddie and his team. I am worried at what injuries could do and still think we need more strength in depth. Also believe that with a couple of experienced signings in defence and midfield could really make this team serious promotion contenders. At the back of my mind is also the worry about what happens when the loan players go.

  • Have waited until the extended highlights came out on player before commenting. And that looked like a very promising performance, despite pretty poor opposition (although Forest were not without their chances). I’m starting to get a little excited about this young side. There’s a lot of hungry lads out there and I sense they are starting to ‘think’ the game as a team more with each game.
    My main concern is – as tmp states – lack of numbers should we sustain a couple of injuries. I have faith in Eddie though. He’ll be perfectly aware of that scenario & I’m sure he’ll get it covered. Just hope it’s sooner rather than later. UTC!

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