Willie Irvine column: Referees must protect Burnley striker Vokes
TEAMS coming to Turf Moor must be aware of our formidable home record by now.
More will come to set their stall out defensively – although I wouldn’t expect that from Brighton (another of my old clubs) on Tuesday.
That should be a good, attacking, free-flowing game.
Saturday’s was a good one too – certainly a good performance from the Clarets, although it would have been made all the better for beating Sheffield Wednesday.
It was a game that we should have won, and could have done easily. But somehow we contrived to drop two points after dominating.
Okay, their goalkeeper had a great game, but isn’t that what they are there for?
A lot of our chances fell to our man in the spotlight, Danny Ings. But Chris Kirkland proved why he is a former England international by keeping him off the scoresheet.
You had the sense that it just wasn’t going to happen for us because the Sheffield Wednesday XI came with the sole purpose to defend, and they got away with it.
There wasn’t much more the Clarets could have done to have got the win they deserved.
But there is more that I feel referees can do to protect some of our players, notably Sam Vokes.
He hasn’t had the free kicks that he should have been rewarded for some of the treatment he’s received from opposition centre halves.
I used to think that about Andy Lochhead, but he was more likely to give a penalty away than win a penalty!
Because he was a big fella he used to knock defenders about. I’ve seen players lying prostrate in their own 18-yard box while the ball was down near the corner flag at the opposite end of the field after Andy had sorted them out.
Of course there weren’t the number of cameras around as there are today. You just couldn’t get away with that now.
But that’s not to say Sam still can’t look after himself.
He just has to stand up to them and not allow himself to be bullied, and hopefully somewhere along the line the referees will take notice of any ‘illegal’ manoeuvres to stop him from doing his job.
But they frustrate me, because referees will give free kicks for incidents 30-40 yards out but not for similar inside the box.
They would never get away with what they’re doing if it was Danny Ings, so the fact that Sam is bigger and stronger shouldn’t make any difference. A foul is a foul, and should be punished regardless.
Otherwise, Sam is doing a good job up there. Keith Treacy is another who impressed me on Saturday.
He has looked like a new man since returning to the side – a new signing you might say.
Hopefully he has put his demons behind him once and for all.
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