Stephen Cummings: Pundits must accept Burnley are here to stay

Sam Vokes celebrates

Sam Vokes celebrates

First published in Sport

During the course of this campaign, Burnley supporters have grown used to seeing their team being written off by the wise and venerable of the football cognoscenti – it has become one of the hallmarks of this staggeringly successful and record breaking season.

Initial annoyance gave way to mild amusement as pundits produced reason after reason as to why the claret and blue bubble would eventually burst.

First of all, those in the know condescended that it was “a good start”, a comment which carried with it the patronising implication that we’d had our fun but should now run along to join Yeovil and Millwall and thumb a lift to League One.

Sadly, for the experts, Burnley refused to give up their lofty perch.

And so the specious line about us “not having played anyone” was lamely trotted out.

“Anyone” turned up at Turf Moor in the form of QPR and Reading, both of who were summarily dismissed.

The next obstacle was supposed to be our feeble spending-power compared to the Championship’s big guns in the January window.

Harry Redknapp recruited a further five players to his already bejewelled and bloated squad and still couldn’t find a way past the Clarets.

And so to Saturday and Charlton, when the last great hope of the  nay-sayers; that one about Burnley not being able to absorb injuries, what with their tiny squad and all.

Shorn of the services of not only their leading scorer but also the division’s leading assist provider, surely collapse was inevitable?

Well, no. Played out on the Championship’s first all-sand surface, Burnley pretty much strolled to about as straightforward a victory as they have enjoyed all term.

There was a first goal in claret and blue for Ashley Barnes, a 20th strike of the season for Sam Vokes and an accomplished debut from new signing Chris Baird.

But most importantly it was another small step taken towards the ultimate goal of Premier League football come the end of the season.

Burnley currently sit on a 10-point cushion (I can scarcely believe I’m typing this) with Derby, QPR and the rest of the chasing pack struggling to keep up the pace.

Find a way past Doncaster Rovers this evening and if results go our way the margin could be even greater to those chasing.

If that happens, maybe even the pundits will have to concede there’s something special happening at Turf Moor.

Comments (4)

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4:42pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Definitely Maybe says...

Great article. I am actually quite happy for 'little old Burnley' to keep flying low under the radar, it suits us and takes a little pressure off - Although, as you state, now the season is drawing to it's climax, more and more media attention is now beginning to finally descend on Turf Moor. A remarkable season...Another 3 points tonight would be fantastic, won't be as easy as some may think though...Dig deep lads, keep it going.
Great article. I am actually quite happy for 'little old Burnley' to keep flying low under the radar, it suits us and takes a little pressure off - Although, as you state, now the season is drawing to it's climax, more and more media attention is now beginning to finally descend on Turf Moor. A remarkable season...Another 3 points tonight would be fantastic, won't be as easy as some may think though...Dig deep lads, keep it going. Definitely Maybe
  • Score: 11

6:29pm Tue 25 Mar 14

eddio says...

can't say I have noticed anyone and everyone slagging Burnley off? Inferiority complex coming to the surface. mayhap?
Just to set the record straight, I think they have had an exceptional season, and I'm a lifelong Rovers man!
can't say I have noticed anyone and everyone slagging Burnley off? Inferiority complex coming to the surface. mayhap? Just to set the record straight, I think they have had an exceptional season, and I'm a lifelong Rovers man! eddio
  • Score: 4

6:40pm Tue 25 Mar 14

kenbro says...

As a Rover, I congratulate Burnley for what they have achieved this season. However, I would like to add a bit of reality to the article and I hope you Clarets accept it in the constructive spirit that I give it.
Apart from Leicester, this season's Championship has been populated with mostly mediocre and poor teams. In most seasons there are several teams challenging for the top spots, but not this season.
Based on the two matches at Ewood, the concensus seems to be that Leicester are a far better prospect to stay in the Premiership than are Burnley.
We all know the huge gulf between the Championship and the Premiership in player quality and club economics. Burnley saw this just a few years ago.
You have had a great season with a lot to cheer about, and you most likely will be seeing the top teams at the Turf next season. I can't see the Rovers mounting a promotion challenge for a couple of years yet, but I have the feeling that we will be playing each other again the season after next.
As a Rover, I congratulate Burnley for what they have achieved this season. However, I would like to add a bit of reality to the article and I hope you Clarets accept it in the constructive spirit that I give it. Apart from Leicester, this season's Championship has been populated with mostly mediocre and poor teams. In most seasons there are several teams challenging for the top spots, but not this season. Based on the two matches at Ewood, the concensus seems to be that Leicester are a far better prospect to stay in the Premiership than are Burnley. We all know the huge gulf between the Championship and the Premiership in player quality and club economics. Burnley saw this just a few years ago. You have had a great season with a lot to cheer about, and you most likely will be seeing the top teams at the Turf next season. I can't see the Rovers mounting a promotion challenge for a couple of years yet, but I have the feeling that we will be playing each other again the season after next. kenbro
  • Score: -9

7:52am Wed 26 Mar 14

bburnrover says...

I disagree with the above as I feel Burnley just require a couple more class midfielders and one more striker to hold there own in the Premiership. I think they may last a few years there as long as the retain Ings.
I disagree with the above as I feel Burnley just require a couple more class midfielders and one more striker to hold there own in the Premiership. I think they may last a few years there as long as the retain Ings. bburnrover
  • Score: 1

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