Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday October 26 2009
Following Saturday`s game between Burnley and Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor, Vital Burnley`s Turfman Phil met up with Vital Wigan`s worbo for a quick chat about the game and the result.
worbo - Well Turfman Phil there goes your 100% home record, expected?
Turfman Phil - You don't expect to lose at home and our home form has been exemplary with a new Prem League home record of four consecutive wins for a newly promoted club. We had not lost at home since February and had won all ten games before Wigan. Having said that, I just had this feeling it couldn't last and although I predicted a Clarets win something was niggling me big time that this wasn't going to be our day. Our fans also seemed subdued as well for some reason, there just wasn't the same buzzing atmosphere (Possibly still shell-shocked after losing to our rivals down the road).
In a way, I think it might have done us good to lose at home. I think Coyle may have become too complacent thinking winning at home could cover up for some poor performances away from home. He might have to start thinking more now about a Plan B and that could mean grinding out results away from home at the expense of playing attractive but ultimately failing football.
worbo - I actually forecast a 2-0 Latics win and I was very confident before the game, I just felt that you would be expecting that you`d get back to winning ways following the defeat at Ewood the week before but I knew that our style of play would be difficult for you to handle.
I just hope that you can recover in time for next week which I think will be a massive game in the course of your season, get the win against Hull and your back again, lose and I think major doubts will set in.
Brian Jensen, was he really injured or was it his pride that took a knock? Either way Owen Coyle didn`t look too concerned or impressed.
Turfman Phil - It looks like Jensen has suffered slight ligament damage to his left ankle and looks to have a reasonable chance of playing against Hull on Saturday although the official site cant confirm this one way or the other at the moment.
Our stand-in keeper, Penny played reasonably well when he came on and he needs to string a few games together to improve his confidence. Jensen has looked a bit jaded recently and error prone, maybe he needs a rest to recover mentally from some of the recent tonkings on the road.
Yes you are right about Hull, massive, massive game for us and it's vital we get a win in this six pointer otherwise we will be looking over our shoulder at the relegation places as Christmas approaches. November is not an easy month either with a difficult game against Villa at home and Man City and West Ham away (another six pointer) to come
If we had to lose our home record, I am glad it was against Wigan. We seem to struggle in particular against tall, powerful bruising sides and we had no answer against you on Saturday and you thoroughly deserved your victory
worbo - Before the game I signalled out Robbie Blake as the Burnley danger man and he set up your first goal, Blake is a player that I have liked throughout his career from his days as a kid at Darlington and I see he is still doing the business but he hasn`t got the legs to last these days, do you feel that you are reliant too much on the older players or would you disagree?
Turfman Phil - I think a lot of our players at the moment are not coming up to the standards required in the Premier League.
The old man, Graham Alexander is struggling in particular and at 37 his age is catching up with him. He hasn't the pace anymore to be considered at right back and his holding midfield role is now becoming a problem with too many of his passes going astray in dangerous positions.
Coyle should rest him and give some of the younger midfielders a chance e.g. Kevin McDonald in 4-4-2. I think Blake still has what it takes and although it might be asking too much for him to do it continually now for 90 minutes, he can win you games and he still has that magic weaving in and out in the box and setting up goals. His free-kicks are also still legendary
worbo - Was you surprised by the Latics Phil, under Martinez we are totally different from what we have been these past few years, Thomas and Diame in midfield make us tick but Rodallega was simply awesome and I thought he was man of the match, his second goal was a great finish, which of our players impressed you?
Turfman Phil - I don't know what it is about Jason Scotland but he always torments us. He scored a brace for Swansea last season against us at Turf Moor (under Martinez as well of course) and although he didn't score this time he was a right handful. We could not cope with your powerful forward line and yes there was no holding Hugo!
worbo - As I said previously Phil next weeks game against Hull could be pivotal for your season, a win and you will restore your confidence and I can see you staying in and around mid-table for the rest of the season, a loss and I think could see you start to tumble and end up caught in a relegation battle, home form is vital and I hope it was just our quality (wink) that undid you.
I feel we are almost ready to put a challenge in for a top 8 spot, we just need to find a little more consistency, which is coming and if we bring in a couple of decent additions in January then a Europa League place will be within our reach, am I dreaming here Phil, whats your thoughts?
Turfman Phil - You looked a strong side considering we had beaten Manchester United and Everton at home.
We are learning our trade in the top flight but I hope we can survive just as you have over these last few seasons. Its a tough, tough league and an unforgiving one. We have to return to the 'Fortress Turf Moor' mentality again but we also have to stop relying on it and begin to grind out some results away from home as stated above.
Good luck to Wigan, I would be delighted if any club could break through into the monopoly of say the top ten clubs. The Big Four, Man City now, Villa, Everton (last season anyway!) are all getting boring.
Wigan in Europe?
Why not. Hell to think the last time Burnley were in the top flight (1975-76) the very mention of Wigan just meant Eddie Waring and Rugby League. You have come a long way but then you have had the advantage of a rich sugar daddy in the form of Dave Whelan.
The Clarets are proud of the fact we have gained promotion against all the odds with little or no money and with one of the smallest squads in the league. We have achieved promotion purely by having the right quality and playing attractive entertaining football but now reality at this level is beginning to hit us and we now have to look for a Plan B to survive.
I am confident Coyle is the right man for the job and the right motivator.
worbo - Well its been good meeting up with you Phil in a cyber way, best of luck for the rest of the season and we`ll catch up again for the game at the DW Stadium on 20th March 2010.
Turfman Phil - Cheers Worbo, good to cyber chat (sounds vaguely rude that?) and good luck to the Latics too. Don't eat all the pies before we arrive to get revenge at the DW in March!
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Date:Monday October 26 2009
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