David Eyres: The ball is in Burnley's court
SAM Vokes and Danny Ings go into this afternoon’s game at home to Nottingham Forest looking to increase their 40-goal partnership.
It is already an incredible achievement for the strike duo.
But credit must go to the others who have made it happen for them – not least defender Kieran Trippier, who is high up in the Championship’s assists table thanks his his displays.
For me, he is the best full back in the Championship and I’m sure one day, hopefully with Burnley, he will play at the highest level.
He has improved tenfold on the defensive side since he joined the club.
He’s still got bits to learn, but on the attacking front there’s no faulting him – certainly when it comes to end product with balls into the box.
I think he puts a few wingers to shame.
To have that in your armoury, doing it week in week out, he must be a pleasure to work with and I am sure he is a very big factor in why the front two have done so well this season.
Hopefully the Clarets can all stay on top of their game for the final 15 games of the season, the next three of which are huge.
So huge in fact, that they could determine where Burnley finish this season.
And who would have thought that next month’s showdown with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park could be the least important of the lot, in the grand scheme of things.
This afternoon’s opponents Forest and next week’s visitors Derby County are right in the chasing pack.
These are the biggest games.
Most, if not all, Clarets fans would sacrifice ending that 35-year run without a derby win if it meant returning to the Premier League.
Ideally, we’ll be able to do both.
But the two games beforehand have become more significant at this stage of the season.
It is all to play for, and it’s good that the opportunity to put some distance between them and two of their nearest promotion rivals is in Burnley’s hands. Even more so with them being at home, where they have such an impressive record.
Turf Moor has been a fortress for Sean Dyche’s side all season, and while Forest and Derby will provide tough opposition, I would back the Clarets on their own patch.
I think if we can come away with seven points from the nine available we will be difficult to catch in second place.
Hopefully we will be in a position where, as long as we are consistent for the remainder of the season, we can go straight up.
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