Date: 12th December 2007 at 5:41pm
Written by:

What an unmitigated disaster, with the worst you could have predicted coming true as we fell to bottom club,QPR at home to inflict the first Clarets defeat under new gaffer, Owen Coyle.

You could almost write the script, and I for one just had a sense something like this would happen. Maybe the soul of the late QPR player, Ray Jones was urging on the QPR lads wearing black armbands in honour after his sad and untimely death that led to this fixture being postponed back in August but whatever the cause we had no answer to a plucky performance from the bottom placed club going down 2-0.

The only saving grace about this defeat, was that QPR’s win lifted them off the bottom to be replaced by local rivals, Preston who we face at home this Saturday.

What dreadful home form we seem to have, almost relegation form with now 3 defeats and 2 draws in the last five matches, contrast that with the promotion winning form away from home with four consecutive away wins against Leicester, Watford, Charlton and Wolves. Its no good winning against clubs in the Top 6 only to fail against struggling teams. Credit where credit is due though, QPR looked far from the bottom placed club, looked strong in defence and thoroughly deserved their victory with their goals coming from Stewart after 60 minutes and then Vine in injury time.

Vine scored in the last minute by firing into an empty net after Gabor Kiraly had gone upfield searching for an equaliser that was never going to happen!

It was a lacklustre performance by the Clarets, maybe jaded from six games between 24th November and last night. If the team was tired, though maybe we should have been more creative with the team selection, but again we stuck with the same sixteen for the sixth match running

Blake didnt seem to shine and couldnt find an understanding with Andy Gray. We did have our periods but couldnt seem to make them count. In the first half it was a particularly scrappy game and we just seemed to lack any impact in the final third.

In the scend half Alan Mahon hit the post for Burnley before Stewart met Scott Sinclair’s left-wing corner with a downward header at the near post to put the Rs 1-0 up on 60 minutes.

Mahon looked to limp off on 63 minutes and along with Blake a double substitution was made with James O’Connor and Steve Jones coming on.This seemed to have the effect of raising the tempo for the Clarets and we probably had our best spell of the match

QPR keeper Lee Camp brilliantly denied James O’Connor as the Clarets tried immediately to come back.

As the home side at long last came to life a number of shots tested Camp in the QPR goal

Lafferty’s shot was turned away by the Rs keeper, and then Camp tipped over O’Connor’s 25-yard shot in spectacular fashion

The Clarets clocked up 14 corners in the second-half too but never really looked like taking advantage

QPR were defending well under pressure and denied both Gudjonsson and Gray.

Kiraly came up for a corner in stoppage time.desperate to get something from the match but boy was that a mistake! Alexander’s short pass was intercepted and the sprinting Vine ran 60 yards with the ball, before tapping the ball into an empty net with Kiraly nowhere to be seen.

This defeat leaves us in 8th place on 32 points still only one point behind Wolves in 6th place but we have now lost our game in hand advantage and we could have been fourth had the result gone our way. Very, very frustrating and there was an element of the crowd last night that booed the performance giving food for thought for Owen Coyle as we continue to look average at home. It is imperative we dont mess up at home this Saturday against our local rivals, Preston.

We will have to play also without Clarke Carlisle in the back four on Saturday.Carlisle picked up an injury last night and was substituted by Gudjonsson 3 minutes into the second half with McCann dropping back into a central defender role.

Coyle has confirmed it is not a serious injury, but the player will definitely miss Saturday’s match against Preston North End.

‘We had to rejig after Clarke went off and those kind of things went against us.

‘We got caught at the set-play when their lad, who Clarke had been picking up, headed in.

‘There will be no criticism of the players from me because we’ve had six games in 17 days.’


Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle (Gudjonsson 48), Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, Mahon (James O’Connor 63), McCann, Lafferty, Blake (Jones 63), Gray.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Akinbiyi.

QPR: Camp, Rehman, Stewart, Malcolm, Barker, Ainsworth (Moore 90), Bolder, Leigertwood (Walton 88), Sinclair (Blackstock 75), Nygaard, Vine.

Subs Not Used: Cole, Balanta.

Booked: Barker.

Goals: Stewart 60, Vine 90.

Ref: Mike Pike (Cumbria).