A new era begins today after an extraordinary week that saw a dreadful home defeat by the Tigers on Tuesday night followed by the departure of manager, Steve Cotterill a couple of days later.
Steve Davis, who a few weeks back was first team coach now finds himself in charge for today’s game away to Leicester City after two promotions in as many weeks. Following the departure of Dave Kevan to Notts County, Steve took on the role of Assistant manager, unaware that he would suddenly be thrown in the deep end and be given full responsibility for the first team as caretaker manager. I do hope that whoever becomes our new manager does find a way of working with Steve Davis and does not demand bringing in his own assistant. Steve Davis leaving the club would be totally unfair and I suspect would upset many Clarets fans already shocked by the departure of Cotterill.
Anyway back to today’s match. The Walkers Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Clarets these past few seasons and everybody associated with the club will be hoping that continues after a stressful week. Having been bitten by the Tigers with the manager bleeding to death, we dont want the lesser animals, the Foxes to start scenting more blood.
The bad news is that problems continue in defence with now David Unsworth unavailable for this match following his red-card and automatic suspension in the 85th minute against Hull on Tuesday night.
This is an additional headache with the injuries to Duff and Caldwell in the back four and will be a challenge for Steve Davis to resolve. Chris McCann can play in the back four and this might be part of the new gaffer’s thinking, joining Alexander,Carlisle and Jordan. Harley also could be considered.
As far as we are aware there are no additional injury problems so we could line up with a similar 16. Will Steve Davis however be tempted to make some changes in an effort to stamp his authority and shake up the pack?
New Steve Says:
A different Steve saying stuff for the first time as caretaker manager:
‘The chairman has spoken to me and asked me to manage the side at Leicester on Saturday, which I will gladly do.
‘The manager spoke to all the players today after training and everyone is naturally disappointed.
‘He has looked after the players after bringing most of them in and he is well respected and liked by all the players and staff.
‘I am sure he will take a break and be back in a job before you know it.’
‘The manager is football through and through and he never stopped looking at ways to improve things.
‘I think he has done himself proud and he can walk out of this club with his head held high.
‘He will definitely be missed and I would like to go on record to thank the manager for the opportunity he has given me.
‘Any result I do get from Saturday will be dedicated to him.
Leicester Team News:
Foxes striker DJ Campbell has a groin strain as does Gareth McAuley.DJC though is expected to recover in time
James Wesolowski (hamstring), Levi Porter (knee) and Stephen Clemence (hamstring) are all unavailable
Player to watch: Matt Fryatt.
Influential in Leicester’s last match away to Preston.Fryatt weaved his way past a couple of challenges on the edge of the box and his cross was nodded in by fellow striker Campbell to earn a point.
Burnley Team News:
David Unsworth suspended after being red-carded on Tuesday night causing headaches in back four with Duff and Caldwell injured.
We could expect something like this unless radical changes are envisaged
Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, McCann, Jordan, Elliott, Spicer, Mahon, Lafferty, Gray, Blake. Subs: Harley, Akinbiyi, Jensen, Jones, James O’Connor.
Lets hope we get something from this so we can relax in the International break and look forward to the new manager being in place for our next match against Stoke City (our special 125 th anniversary game) on the 24th November.
We are still not that badly placed, we might look in a lowly position in 15th with 18 points, but that is still only five points off 6th placed club, Wolves and we have a game in hand.
However with only 10 points seperating 22 nd placed club, Blackpool and Wolves, a loss or two with heads dropping can easily put clubs into the danger zone and we must avoid that at all costs.
Player to watch: Andy Gray
A confident, scoring Andy Gray could lift the team no end and we need to get back on track as soon as possible
Last Time We Met
We last played Leicester at the Crisp Packet back in August 2006 and came away with the customary win this time 1-0 thanks to a goal by Andy Gray. Sadly though we couldnt achieve the double with the Foxes turning the tables in February this year and beating us by the same score at Turf Moor. A game at the height of the 19 winless run that we were unlucky not to win.
How many times can we keep winning here? I fear the worst for some reason,hope I am wrong. 2-0 defeat ( Very rarely if at all can I bring myself to forecast a loss)
International break after this match for two weeks and an interesting period for the Clarets as they seek to bring in a new manager. Who will it be? Will he be in place by the time we face Stoke at home in our next match on Saturday 24th November? (3pm KO)