View from the South Stand - Burnley 17/12/11
The great looking Eddie Howe brings his Burnley side
south for their visit to The Amex. Coming off the back
of two excellent comeback victories on the road at West
Ham and Hull, the Clarets arrive in Sussex in fine form
on their travels.
We spoke to
www.clarets-mad.co.uk Editor Tony Scholes for the
Burnley viewpoint ahead of our last game before
the unlikely event that Brighton somehow end up winning
promotion this season, a lot of fans have said they
wouldn't want to go up as "it's too soon and we're not
ready." What would you say to that having experienced
Burnley's unlikely elevation to the Premier League?
not sure how you can be ready to be honest with the gap
between the two leagues being so huge. Had we waited
until we were ready we'd still be waiting now and would
probably never have got there. My answer is just to grab
the opportunity when it comes around. It's not the
wonderful world that many think it is but I wouldn't
have missed it for the world. I'm old enough to remember
our days in the top flight and to be able to go back and
play league games against the top, top clubs in this
country was something special. The result of our first
home game in the Premier League was Burnley 1 Manchester
United 0 with one of the best goals I've ever seen at
Turf Moor. It was worth it just for that.
Owen Coyle was the man who lead you to
the promised land but then left for Bolton. Do you think
you would have stayed in the top flight had he have not
gone and how is he viewed now by the Clarets faithful?
not so sure he would have kept us in but when he left I
do believe our best chance had gone no matter who
replaced him. We'd got off to a great start but we'd won
none of his last nine league games in charge and won
only five points from them. We were already on the
is he viewed? I can only speak for myself but I think it
is fair to say that most Burnley fans share the same
view. I loathe the man. He lied to us. Just days before
he went he told us that he would stay at Burnley just as
long as he was wanted. He was already plotting his move,
just as he'd been doing to try and get to Celtic in the
previous May as we were winning the play offs. I refer
to him now as the Lying Scotsman. If, for any reason, he
ever returned to Burnley I would stay away.
Eddie Howe performed miracles at
Bournemouth and turned down a number of other jobs
including Palace (hehe) to take the Burnley job. How is
he getting on?
I've found the football less than
exciting at times but in fairness he's had a very
difficult time with many of the squad he inherited
having left the club. He's rebuilding and the squad is
nowhere near complete and clearly lacking in some areas.
Now is definitely not the time to judge him. I always
feel a manger needs at least two years in a job so maybe
you could ask me that question in a year's time. I have
to say that we do have the ability to look a very good
and entertaining team at times.
We've faced Charlie Austin three times in
his Swindon days and he has scored against us in every
game. How good has he been for Burnley and how far do
you think he could go in football?
been hugely impressed with Charlie Austin. I wasn't sure
what to expect when we pushed the boat out to get him
last January, Howe's first signing for Burnley. He then
quickly suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for
the rest of the season. This season he's come into the
team and certainly looked very comfortable at this
level. He misses chances, but find a goalscorer who
doesn't. He's always there for the next chance and is
scoring them. Another recent shoulder injury has
sidelined him but he came back via the bench last week.
He's a very good player at this level I feel. Who knows
whether he could do it at a higher level again. Every
time he's stepped up he's had no problems.
you think that as a football club, you could ever have a
sustained run in the top flight?
It would have been very difficult and had
we been able to then it would have been a relegation
fight season after season when eventually the lack of
wins must take its toll. If you want to have a sustained
run at that level then you need huge amounts of money
and that has either to be generated or come out of a
benefactor's pocket. We have neither. When we won
promotion and the media were telling us it was a £60m
windfall (including the parachute payments) it sounded
so exciting. Soon after, Manchester United sold one
player for £75m. That put it all into perspective.
You obviously know what it takes to get
out of this division. What do you think a club aiming to
win promotion needs to do?
It needs to be a decent side obviously
but it really does need to have some good fortune as
well. Take a look at our season. We were never the most
secure team at the back and yet we somehow didn't
concede one single goal in the last four home league
games. Then, into the play offs and we kept three more
clean sheets and scored three wonder goals which gave us
two unbelievable days out at Reading and then Wembley.
You need to keep in the running for the bulk of the
season and then it seems it can be down to the team that
has the best run in. Once in the play offs it is
We're nearly halfway through the
campaign. Which teams that you have seen this season do
you think will be fighting at the top of the table come
I missed the West Ham game through
illness but I'd be surprised if they are not there come
the end of the season. I expect them to go on and win
this league. Southampton looked good at Burnley on a day
when we played exceptionally well. We were close to
I'd also add Leicester and I think their hopes have
improved drastically with the sacking of the money
This is your first visit to Brighton
since one of the most boring games in history in 2006
and the first to The Amex. What can we expect from the
Burnley faithful and are you looking forward to the
I'm very much looking forward to it. My
last visit was to the Withdean for the boring 0-0 draw.
You might know more about that game than I do even
though I was there. I'd had a lot of sympathy for
Brighton's plight with the loss of the Goldstone and
then the problems in building a new stadium at Falmer.
Sadly that sympathy came to an end that night when they
charged us inflated prices to sit in an area from which
watching the game was almost impossible. I vowed I'd
never return to the Withdean and I wouldn't. Brighton
will be only
the second team I've seen us play on
three different grounds, Bristol Rovers being the other.
You can expect a small number (around 1,000) due to the
number of tickets we received. We sold out a week ago
and many Burnley fans have missed out.
Who should Brighton fans be looking out
for among the Burnley side?
We can look a very good side going
forwards and local boy Jay Rodriguez (yes, he really is
from Burnley) could be the danger man. Jay is just 22
but is an outstanding prospect we just hope we can hang
on to him in January.
Finally, a prediction for the game
I don't really do predictions but I've
missed the last two away games and both have been won.
I've been warned to stay away if I bring bad luck on my
return this Saturday so I desperately need a win.
Many thanks to Tony for his insight into the forthcoming
fixture. It is the season of goodwill, so why not send
him a tweet at
Clarets Mad on Twitter apologising for his Withdean
experience and hopefully thanking Burnley for three