Stephen Cummings column: Turf boys really are tough to crack
Should Burnley maintain their momentum and find themselves at the business end of the Championship come early May, they may well reflect on the point they gained at Leicester last Saturday lunchtime as being one of the more important ones.
There are not too many teams this season who will go to the King Power Stadium, recover from a dodgy penalty decision and an equally iffy first half performance and come away with a share of the spoils. Indeed, had Sam Vokes encountered a lesser keeper than Kasper Schmeichel after being inadvertently played in by the Foxes’ Richie De Laet, the Clarets might well have maintained their position at the summit.
That might seem a strange thing to say given that Nigel Pearson’s men dominated the opening 45 minutes. But just like Nottingham Forest found out at the City Ground a few weeks back when Burnley were all but forced to camp in their own half after the interval, the Clarets are not an easy nut to crack.
The fact of the matter is that for all the home side’s possession in the final third, they carved out relatively few opportunities. That the backline was breached at all was the result of a dubious penalty shout that another referee on another day may well have waved away.
Hopefully Burnley will be more on the front foot this weekend, when the tangerine hordes will descend from the UK capital of tawdry tat, singing their hilarious ditties about Dingles; funny, to some, but not anywhere near as hilarious as the one about the football club that managed to lose five players to red cards in the space of as many days.
Blackpool’s problems have been well-documented. But if you have the kind of character at the helm whose physical and verbal assault on a fourth official in October was considered so serious by the Football Association that he was banned not just from the touchline but from actually entering stadiums where his team were playing, it can’t really come as too much of a bolt from the blue when indiscipline rears its head on the pitch.
Derby games may well be different from regular fixtures, but this might not be a bad time to play Blackpool.
With players suspended and the club slipping out of the play-off picture, the Clarets need to take advantage of their poor form and reinforce their own position in the automatic slots.
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