Right, let’s try that again shall we? Two bad results behind us, and an opportunity to improve our trajectory with the visit of Sean Dyche’s Burnley side. Oh, and it’s kids for a quid.
On the less over-reactive tack, we are still just four points adrift of the play-offs, whilst the Clarets are sitting in mid-table having just drawn with fellow Lancastrians Blackburn Rovers. Of course, sitting in mid-table in reality means that they’re just a point below us – which rather underlines how tight this league is still (and of course, why further defeats would be a bad thing as we’d soon start to tumble down it!).
So, injuries – Daniel Ayala isn’t injured any more, but was ill for our last game – he’s now not ill, so presuming he’s not subsequently got himself injured again he could be available. We are, however, without the services of Simon Cox, Raddy Majewski, Jermaine Jenas and Greg Halford all of whom are unavailable. Our visitors are just missing defender Ben Mee.
Burnley have been quite mixed-bag-ish in their results of late – in six games they’ve drawn two, lost two and won two – there’s not even a home or away pattern, one of each result possibility occurred at home, and one of each away! They show we aren’t the only side to lose at Ipswich though, and also suffered a home defeat to Charlton – with wins over Leeds and Hull, draws with Barnsley and Blackburn in their most recent games.
On paper you’d not worry too much, but of course (a) we’ve thought that before of late and (b) they might well be thinking that looking at our recent form. With one-up-front-at-home-gate played out on Matchtalk, Twitter and other places online it will be interesting to see how Sean O’Driscoll plays this one.
Whilst I don’t subscribe to suggestions I’ve seen stating that the owners will be starting to breathe down his neck if he doesn’t get a favourable result, he will be I’m sure putting a degree of pressure on himself to oversee a turnaround in our fortunes. A big factor in that will be how well we cope with Charlie Austin – the striker has snagged 21 goals this season already, 18 in the league.
The rest of their squad have only scored 14.
So now I’ve jinxed it – we’ll lose and Austin won’t score. Ha! Maybe not, but he’s a dangerous customer in this league for sure – so our defence will need to get a handle on him, and I don’t think they’ve been up against somebody quite so deadly on an individual level for some time. I hope they’re feeling up to it, and that further up the field we forge a rather better link between our midfield and our own deadly marksmen.
Goalless draw? Hey, don’t say I’m not an optimist!