Date: 2nd March 2007 at 8:26am
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The Clarets will be hoping to break this awful run now of 14 League matches without a win and to consolidate recent signs of improvement shown in their last three matches despite little reward in terms of points or luck.

Steve Cotterill Says:

‘A win would get the feelgood factor back and while I would get great satisfaction, I actually want a win for other people, more than myself.

‘I really mean that. I want the win for the players, our supporters, the chairman and directors more than myself.

‘I think they’ve had enough of this sufferance period as well and if we get that against Palace, things drop well for us and we play well, like we have done, nothing would make me more pleased.

‘I’d be delighted to be able to give that to those people.’

‘Those people who know me personally know I’m a winner, so not winning is tough. Every day is tough, but I’m fine with it. I’m okay, because you have to be.

‘You have to be strong and calm, composed and keep a level head when everyone else around you is losing theirs.

‘It’s important you do that because if I start losing mine, then the players will have no chance.’

‘They will know what’s required when they take the pitch on Saturday, like they know every week.

‘We just need a few bounces of the ball and the rub of the green to get us out of this rut.

‘It hurts me, but I’m strong enough to cope with that, and if we win, then on Monday morning I’ll come back in and do exactly the same as I’ve done for 11 years.’

‘If you take into consideration the Southend and Preston games coming up, that will be nine out of 13 games away from home, and that has been very tough.

‘First, we have a tough game at home, but it’s more than winable and our performances, of late, have been better than our results.

‘Times like this galvanise you a little bit. When you’re winning, it’s easy to have a good team spirit and the test is when you’re not winning.

‘What is the spirit like then and are they still receptive to new ideas? Well, they all are!

‘There’s not one who you think is perhaps not with it and the spirit hasn’t changed, since the first hill at Towneley and the first 120 degree game in Italy, to now. It was excellent then, and it’s excellent now.’

‘When you walk around town from time to time, the amount of goodwill is phenomenal,’ said Cotterill.

‘Whether we are top of the league, down the lower reaches or mid-table, our supporters get behind the team and that won’t change.

‘They’re first class, and we really want them to be passionate against Crystal Palace.

‘At the moment we need them to be the difference, and they can be. But they need to be as noisy as they possibly can, because the lads rise to that.’

Burnley Team News:

It is typical of our luck in recent times that we wont now be able to consider Kyle Lafferty in the squad. Kyle is suspended for picking up five yellow cards.Referee Carl Boyeson booked Lafferty in the dying seconds of our last match against Colchester on the last weekend that counted for a ban after receiving five yellows.

Steve Jones may well return along with Duff.

The situation regarding Alan Mahon is also unclear and if he is fit, he could make a return.

There is also still concern over Chris McCann and Wayne Thomas, who were both stetchered off last Saturday. They are both battling to get fit according to the Official Site.

Assuming both players are ruled out, the team is likely to be something like the following:

Coyne, Harley, McGreal, Caldwell, Duff, Elliott, Gudjonsson, J O’Connor, Jones, Gray, Akinbiyi.

Subs: Foster, G O’Connor or Mahon, Spicer, Branch, Djemba-Djemba

Player to watch: Andy Gray

It really is time now for Andy Gray to get a goal to build both his own confidence and that of the team.

Crystal Palace Team News:

Paul Ifill, signed in the January transfer window for £750,000 missed Palace’s last match. The winger and former Millwall and Blades player picked up an achilles injury and remains doubtful for Saturday.

Peter Taylor’s team also have a number of other injury concerns. Shefki Kuqi has a knee injury and is unlikely to play and there are also doubts regarding Stuart Green, Mark Kennedy and Joby McAnuff.

Player to watch: Clinton Morrison

A player who appears to be returning to form at the wrong time for the Clarets. After a barren run he got a brace in their last match against Luton to take him on 8 for the season.

Last Time We Met!

We last played Palace away back in August and came away with a very creditable 2-2 draw thanks to goals from Lafferty and Mahon.

Match Prediction:

Crystal Palace have had back-to-back wins and have still not given up hope of reaching the play-offs. They are currently 11th on 48 points, 6 places above the Clarets in 17th on 40 points.

The Clarets form has steadily been improving in their last three matches and more points would have been on the board with a bit of extra luck.

Its time to win again-2:1 Clarets!

Next Match:

Southend away Tuesday 13th March @ 7:45