Often Partisan

Can Blues’ Luck Change? Burnley Preview

Blues face a tough trip to Burnley this evening still smarting after going down unluckily against Queens Park Rangers. Lee Clark faces a tough task having picked up one league win from six games against a team with one league defeat in the same period.

Burnley

Burnley have no new injury worries ahead of the game against Blues although former West Ham midfielder Junior Stanislas could be given a start having scored as a substitute at the weekend, and will be battling loanee Michael Kightly (who made his debut on Saturday) and Keith Treacy for a wide berth. The only absentee for Burnley will be Ross Wallace who is out until the new year with a knee problem.

Blues

Lee Clark reported no new major injury concerns from the weekend but one player who definitely won’t feature will be captain Paul Robinson who picked up his fifth yellow card at the weekend and is thus suspended for this fixture. Mitch Hancox, who did travel to QPR but didn’t make the squad could replace the skipper in the eighteen as a like for like replacement.

There is also an outside chance that Nikola Zigic, Akwasi Asante and David Murphy could make the squad with the team coach being held back yesterday until the three had exited the development squad game at Wast Hills. Whilst all three were making their returns from injury in the u21 fixture all looked fit and potentially sharp enough to be considered for the bench. However, it is unlikely Scott Allan travelled.

Blues have struggled this season although it does appear luck has been against them somewhat of late. However, they can take heart from not having lost to Burnley in the last six league outings with four points picked up against the Lancashire side last season from late late goals – Zigic at St Andrews and King at Turfmoor delivering the goods. The question is how Clark will line his team up for this one and if he look to change the team significantly as Blues enter a run of weeks with midweek games.

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114 Responses to “Can Blues’ Luck Change? Burnley Preview”

  • Bluehobba says:

    Gonna go for a 1-1 tonight kro

  • mike b says:

    hi…all….i wonder if it will be as enjoyable as the swansea v liverpool match last night?
    that is what i call entertainment………

  • Frankie says:

    Burnley play a nice passing game of football and it ought to be a decent spectacle.
    Again, we need to keep it tight early on and hope something ‘drops’ in the box for us.
    We are more than due a slice of luck.
    Really like to see ambrose given a chance coming from midfield but not sure if hes fit.

  • mark says:

    it must exciting times for Clark to challenge himself with further players entering the fray…………..
    with the three players returning, and are fit why they cannot be thrown into this game…….
    With further options giving Clark food for thought, i sure he would take that any day……………
    I gathered koby not ready yet?

    • almajir says:

      Mark – I doubt they are fit enough to last ninety minutes. Also, Koby played ninety yesterday so I doubt he’ll play today. He looked good in patches but awful in others – he’s only a kid still and probably needs experience at a lower level

  • mark says:

    our luck has to change some time soon so why not this evening………..

  • MattNL says:

    Glad Ross Wallace is out as he almost always scores against us.

    I’d take a draw right now, but it’s a funny old game sometimes so you never know we might even snatch a win.

  • mark says:

    i predict a blues win…………….hopefully we get a penalty still smarting, and eventually ball will go in off the woodwork we can only hope……………….. kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’ve seen the penalty from 3 or 4 different angles… and it’s inconclusive at best. To be honest, it looked like Spector went down a little easy. Although, saying that, I’ve seen them given for less this season.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Burnley are probably the best side we’ve faced so far… so a draw would be an excellent effort.

    I have a feeling that we might revert to a 3-5-2 tonight, with Spector moving into the back 3 and Caddis and Ferguson as wing backs. I hope not though. The team I’d like to see is;

    Randolph

    Caddis Bartley Burn Hancox

    Burke Adeyemi Spector Elliott Ferguson

    Zigic

  • geraldsquires says:

    Another night without a goal no doubt?
    As we hurtle downwards uncontrolable it would appear without a clue or indeed hope

    comment edited – you were warned about the mmmm schtick. Stop it.

  • Bob Your Uncle says:

    Real tough game tonight, I’m sure Clark will have a game plan. Would like to see the Zig on the bench, and I’ve heard many promising things from Asamoah, maybe he is someone we could introduce to the first team?

    Bit off-topic but did anyone see Swansea play Liverpool yesterday, some absolute top quality football played by Swansea in the second half, I think every club should try and emulate that in to younger lads today.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Really looking forward to the cup game next week. I’m under no illusions that, depending who starts for Swans, we’ll be soundly beaten but I’m looking forward to seeing, hopefully, some first rate football at Stans again.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I respect Clark for tinkering with the formation dependent on who the opposition is. It shows vision and also balls to try new things in competitive games especially when the team is struggling. However I have questioned the 3-5-2 when it’s been used purely because a better system served us so well at the end of last season. The performances and results in the last dozen games or so were excellent. Granted we’ve lost Morrison, Nathan & Curtis but the guts of that side playing 4-5-1 is still here and I would like to see us use it more often (starting hopefully tonight)

  • Carl Finlan says:

    good to have murph and ziggy back. left back/ wing back going to be an interesting battle now options on the left vey attack minded
    corners going to be good way of getting goals with Bartley burn and ziggy in the mix 1-2 blues tonight

  • dave mann says:

    id like to see zigic and murphy in te 18 but i can only see zigic comming off the bench.
    scored a cracker last night and lets hope they both get a game saturday when that
    will be more likely, assante scoring will hopefully get him going also.KRO.

  • Tony says:

    Superb quote from Lee Clark today.The only thing wrong with Novak is as a striker he doesnt score goals. Thanks for that Lee.

  • dave mann says:

    i said last week looking forward to the cup game next week,it will be nice to go to st andrews
    and see a good passing, movement of the ball, comfatable in possesion team, ime looking
    forward to seeing blues to! nobody on this site will pick the right team and right result
    tonight, its just not possible to predict the team or result at this moment in time so i aint
    gonna bother i will leave it to all you pros out there.KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    the only certainty tonight is that if the ronaldo and messi off the championship plays upfront
    tonight ( novak) were struggle to score, but as lee said the only thig wrong with novak is
    as a striker he dont score goals so that explains eveything, sorry to missunderstand you
    lee but whys he playing UP FRONT! KRO.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      I see Novak as more of a Pele type player myself ;)

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Did anyone see the training incident, when (I think it was) Elliott who took a free kick and it smacked Zigic in the head and knocked him on his back?

        The trainer went on to see if he was ok. He shouted to Lee Clark, “Boss, I think he’s got concussion. He doesn’t know who he is.” And Clark replies, “Well tell him he’s f*****g Pele and get him back on.”

  • dave mann says:

    you can throw him in aswell if you like Ali, all 3 score a goal a game on average, fantastic
    record, novak misses a goal a game so the comparisons are ” nearly close” .
    i tell you what i hope he scores tonight so he can shut my sarcasim up!
    come on novak. KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We can all blame individuals, but what’s the point? The idea is to get behind the players. Why? because they have a blue shirt on their backs. That’s all that matters to me.

  • pc brigade says:

    Ings to score against us as usual

  • Frankie says:

    More than happy to trust Lee Clark’s judgement tonight.
    Think he’ll start with a similar team to Saturday with Spud coming in and Ziggy playing some part.

  • Paulo says:

    Our luck will change tonight, i can feel it in my big toe. Only Asante has travelled to Burnley from the development match. KRO, KEEP THE FAITH!!!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Reading Lee Clark’s pre-match interview on bcfc.com, it sounds like he may use the 3-4-3 system again. He admitted that with the 3-5-2, we wern’t getting enough chances, so fair play to him.

    As Paulo said, only Asante is going up to Burnley. So he could possibly go with Spector in the back 3, Caddis and Ferguson right and left, with maybe Burke and Asante alonside Novak.

    But it’s all guess work I suppose.

  • DoctorD says:

    Results so far are: 0-1, 1-0, 0-1, 2-3, 1-1, 0-1
    If I average all those out, I end up with a 1-1 draw.

  • dave mann says:

    if we play a 2-2-6 we might score a goal and make it entertaining for the fans tonight.
    might aswell try something new because were not scoring in any other formation. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He tried the 3-5-2.. and was man enough to admit it wasn’t creating many chances. We did well with the 3-4-3 on Saturday. We won’t know if it’ll works unless we give it legs.

      It would be interesting to see a forward line of Burke Novak Asante.

  • sappy sad says:

    ………lets not forget we are still gelling but even so the attempts on target are to few on some of our matches even though the shots at goal have been enough ….perhaps we are not getting near enough to the goal on shooting perhaps we need more bodies in the box when the ball comes in ,.whatever we aint far off the mark,…

    • StaffsBlue says:

      In actual fact sappy, if you look at us over the last 2 or 3 seasons, we’ve not had enough players who can shoot (accurately) from outside the box. Gardner is the only one who springs to mind (with Burke occasionally.)

      Maybe we should have a pop from outside the box more often, instead of trying to walk it in. Just a thought.

  • sutton apex says:

    big zig on as a sub to score the only goal – 1-0 blues, come on you blue machine !!

  • Marky mark says:

    LC. Has pulled the numbers out the hat and Burke is in goal and Spector is lone striker in a 1-8-1-1 formation

    God help us 3-0 to Burnley I reckon

  • Chris W says:

    If we keep doing what we have so far I fancy a draw tonight, however, if Lady Luck gives us a break then 2-1 to the Blues.
    We have played well away from home and I see no reason for that to change, we have a few options if Ziggy and Asante are on the bench or better should they start.
    KRO

  • Frankie says:

    Fingers crossed for tonight.
    Have to miss this game through work committments but quietly confident.
    hope so because if we do lose a few more games the fickle and those who do not have the first clue will start up.

    KRO

    • Bobble says:

      The squad is strengthening as players come back from injury. Caddis is freeing others to play in their rightful positions. The work on the training ground is beginning to show through. There’s a bit more confidence from us lot. I think Lee C and his staff have made a good fist of it so far. The only place that luck comes before work is in the dictionary. So after all the hard work hopefully tonight comes the luck.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    So it’s 4-3-3 tonight. Brave, very brave. But positive.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I’m seeing that as 4-5-1 although I always stand to be corrected.

    Very pleasing to see Ambrose starting. Possibly a season and Blues career defining moment?

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Or even a 4-4-1-1 with Ambrose playing just behind Sir Missalot.

  • steve says:

    I can’t believe he’s picked Novak again.When will the idiot learn that Novak isn’t good enough. Looks like Mansfield are gonna try and take Green back. Well done elsie.If Novak scores and we win,i will come back and apologise. I,m not holding me breath.

    • steve says:

      Why change Saturdays formation? We find something that suits us and what does he do? Tamper. Is Elsie the new tinkerman ?

      • steve says:

        That’s it now. The twat has to go.The players can’t know what’s going on.He gets it right on Saturday and then feks it up tonight. Mark and Staffsblue,please don’t come on and say it’s not his fault and our luck will change.It is and it won’t. Surely now,you can’t defend the man anymore.

  • mike b says:

    Hi. All…sorry to post before the end of the match…..3 comments…ambrose was “on top form” taken off at half timish…ferguson (a winger) played out of place taken off…saturday zigic must come good!!!!!

  • Art Watson says:

    Sack him and let him sue us for breach of contract then eventually settle out of court!.

  • neil says:

    Can’t honestly see where our next points are coming from , these poor lads are out of their depth .

  • mike b says:

    Hi all…as previous I am the worlds worst.

    depressive………but. one more chance…zigic. to score a hatrick!!!!

  • Marky mark says:

    Every game, different team, different formation and tactics the players don’t know if there coming or going, Lee Clark is a useless pillock.

    I don’t know any manager who changes everything each game, what was he doing preseason ?

    The man is a complete Pratt

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Could have Ferguson, Spector and Novak out for Saturday. All picked up injuries.

    It’s no surprise to me that we lost tonight. I said earlier that Burnley would be the best team we’ve faced so far. But, the young centre backs experience was exposed tonight. They missed Robbo badly. We need midfielders who can pass to each other and Burke needs to learn when to cross the ball. It’s time to give Novak a rest. He’s done his best with little or no service, but we need to try something different now. I think some players have had long enough and need to step down and give others a chance.

  • Tony says:

    Kingston Hill ,Lee Clark well known song title?

    Fool on the hill.

    It took him 76 mins to get Novak off The way I see it Clark has two choices both involve returning to geordieland 1 he can take charge of the Collierly team, 2 buy him a baton let him conduct the brass band. One thing is certain he cant conduct a football team.

  • Bobble says:

    S***, spit and regroup

  • Richard says:

    Home win on Saturday and forget about this debacle!
    Zigic to score and a clean sheet – you heard it here first!
    Law of averages means we must win soon………. Please……

  • Tony says:

    Sack him and let him sue us, He will never resign.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think that the time has come to find our best formation, the best players that fit into it and stick with that for the majority of the season. Some of the players have shown that they’re not up to the challenge, at least at the moment. There are too many players trying to make the step up at the same time… and they’re getting little or no help from the experienced heads.

    Maybe, the likes of Murphy, Zigic and Robbo coming back in will help. We can’t really afford to expose Bartley and Burn together again, but we had little choice tonight tbh.

  • RichardM says:

    Look at Millwall – all it takes is a bit of luck – ref gifts them a pen on half-time and they go on to beat Blackpool 3-1. Didn’t expect much tonight away at in-form Burnley to be honest.

    My concern is Clarke picking teams based on who trained the best – that seems a bit naive. That’s twice he’s done it now – with both Lovenkrands and Ambrose picked above others and both failing to deliver. Didn’t see the game but reading Colin Tattum’s report sounded like Reece Brown acquitted himself OK – so at least that’s one positive.

    Sheff Wednesday at home on Saturday now looking like a must win game!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Brown did well after coming on. I listened to it on the radio and followed the Blues blog and it sounded like our best player was Adeyemi. I wasn’t convinced by the lad up to Saturday, but I thought he was excellent against QPR and was one of the few bright spots tonight.

      We move on to Sheffield Wednesday and, for the first time this season, I’d say this is a must-win game. I’m far too old and long in the tooth to panic (seen it all before,) but we need to start picking up points, because that’s the only way we’ll breed confidence.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Time for Clark to do a Captain Oates & leave the tent
    for the greater good of all those around him..

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We all know that Lee Clark has his detractors, but keep going on about it doesn’t help. I’m not anti-Clark, but even if I was, I’m sensible enough to know that we can’t afford to let him go, so there no point asking for him to be sacked every week. This is what we’ve got and this is what we have to work with.

    Let’s hope the board will loosen the purse strings, at least, one more time and allow us to bring a goal scorer in (and a midfielder with a bit of bottle pretty please.)

  • bluenose says:

    The board wont StaffsBlue I said all along Caddis was not a priority as we had our RB’s covered instead we should of tried to get Cole in as he was on a free

    I honestly thought Green would be more of an impact he has all the attributes!!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m not a Carlton Cole fan, never have been.

      As for Green, we have to accept that he’s making a massive step up. It could take him half a season or more to get used to this level. I hope the lad makes it.

      • bluenose says:

        I am as he always seemed to score against us all the time tricky fella

        Agree 100% its a very big step up but in all honesty I expected alot more ,look at Fletcher signed from the SPL

        IMHO Green needs a few more games
        , he’s prolific!! no doubt bout that…lets hope he comes good for our sakes lol

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think he may have just realised how big the step up is. But, he’s always known where the goal is and that doesn’t leave a player. Ask Torres. He just needs time to adjust I feel. And a decent service wouldn’t go amiss.

          • RichardM says:

            Bluenose – totally agree, Green might still be a gem, but we’re never going to find out if he doesn’t play the lad. My understanding was that Clark had gambled on the lad to be King’s replacement, and in flashes he’s shown potential. Not a lot he can do on the bench though, and when Lovenkrands / Ambrose are picked ahead of him, it kind of suggest that Clark has no faith in his signing either. Another example is Allan who can’t get a game.

            I know Clark is up against it – but he doesn’t exactly help himself with these strange examples of player management. Maybe if I run round the cones really quickly at Wast Hills and show that I’m a general “good egg” maybe I’ll get a game at Centre-forward?!!!!

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Green will come good eventually I think, but it’s early yet, the lad needs get used to the new level he’s playing in. I think he’s struggled a bit so far, but he’ll be ok.

            As for Allan, I think he took a knock in the development game the day before and had to be taken off.

  • Evesham blue says:

    If you don’t score goals the defence will crumble eventually as they did tonight. What is Clark saying in his team talks? Concede straight after them. King could buy a goal. Goals breed confidence. Now I know we have had a difficult start but you better hope we get this Man U striker otherwise we are sunk

  • Evesham blue says:

    The way to go is to stick the young lads on. Can’t be any worse than this pile. Did Ambrose have the same impact as Loverkrands tonight?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We’ve played a back four against Plymouth and Yeovil in the cup and Ipswich and Burnley in the league. In those 4 games, we’ve shipped 9 goals. In the 5 games we’ve played a back 3, we’ve let in 6 goals (albeit, 3 in one game.)

    We’re just not strong enough down the middle without Robbo. So perhaps we’ll have to settle on either a 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2. For me, our best back 3 (from the available squad) would be Spector, Burn and Robbo. We also need someone with a bit of muscle in midfield. Adeyemi does his best, but his strength is in his box-to-box play. Until we get that immovable object in midfield, we’ll continue to be steamrollered.

  • Chris W says:

    Dare say the Ambrose fans will slate me but I am not an admirer of Ambrose and never was, another high earner who is happy to collect his money and do nothing for it.
    Matt Green is a striker who knows where the goal is. He should score goals at this level but, he needs to be playing, he needs the service. Novak is experienced and had a run, which has been fruitless, now is the time for Green to have a decent run.
    Against Sheffield Wednesday, I would pair him with big Ziggy and go 3-5-2. Reece Brown seems a decent prospect, but then Callum Reilly is too, both deserve a crack.
    Calling for LC’s head is not going to happen, he is doing the best he can with what he has, I agree he should know by now the best formation, he got it right against Rangers and tonight the players were not at the races from the start of either half or I think we could have got something tonight.
    Saturday we need to be in full voice and behind the team and LC, because they need us more than ever.
    KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    In ‘Blue Kid on The Block’ on bcfc.com, I’ve read the Q&A of 5 of the academy lads and, when asked who’s the hardman of the squad, 4 out of the 5 said Nathaniel Kelly. There are the usual stats to be read, but has anyone actually seen the boy play? If so, what’s the opinion. He’s 18, but is he anywhere near the first team squad? Just wondering.

    • almajir says:

      Staffs…

      … see at the top of the page where it says “Birmingham City” – click on that, click on Academy and you’ll see that there is an OP page on Nathaniel Kelly – which has his stats and also all the stories tagged with his name … including the one from yesterday when I talked about seeing him play for the u21s… ;)

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Yes, I read that. My main question was, is he anywhere near the first team, or will he be another released at the end of the season?

        • almajir says:

          Staffs – those questions aren’t mutually exclusive. I’d say he’s nowhere near first team level at the moment – but that doesn’t mean he won’t improve over the season.

  • sutton apex says:

    must admit i cant understand clark constantly changing formations etc – surely the performance against qpr showed him the way forward !!

  • Art Watson says:

    He’s a compete idiot that’s why!

    His latest “blowing bubble gum” photo in the Eveing Mail is a complete embarrassment to him and the club.

  • mark says:

    Two defending mistakes fair play to the burnley lad showed us how to bury the ball in the net. Felt our defenders were woreful lack of concentration. Bright spark brown inclusion,lad did well by all account. We must take the kick bollox and move on quickly, and quick response on Saturday from the lads….

  • Frankie says:

    Few ‘sillies’ on here today, as expected after last night.
    Do these people actually understand ANYTHING about football ?
    Its really not like ‘Pro Evo football’ on your laptop, its a bit harder.
    Lee Clark is doing an excellent job with a paucity of resources, even Mourinho or the great Sir Alex couldn’t do any better with the squad available and until we are rid of Pannu and the Chinese circus, we will have to accept that this is going to be a relegation battle.

    • Marky mark says:

      What a load of utter rubbish. If you think he is doing an excellent job then you are deluded
      I think you are letting the dire situation at the club cloud your judgment of our manager.

      If he was doing an excellent job he would know his best 11.formation and system best suited to our strengths and weakness, he should have done this preseason

      If we lose to a better team no argument, but this twat isn’t giving us a chance

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We lost to a better team. We knew they were a better team before the game. We did well to keep it down to 3 in the end.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We’re 7 games in with practically a new squad. Manager, coaches, scouts, players…. they all stress how difficult it is to settle them in and get them to gel. Even Andrew Shinnie said the same in an interview yesterday.

    Last night was a bit of a shambles, but it shouldn’t have been. It’s not like we haven’t played 4-3-3- before, it’s not like any of those players haven’t played together before. Unfortunately, without the old calming head of Robbo in there, it was headless chicken time. But we learned a few things.

    Bartley and Burn should never play together on their own again, too much inexperience and too many unforced errors. They need Robbo with one or both of them.

    We need someone in centre midfield who can put his foot in, get on the ball and actually drive us forward. We have too many players who just want to play nicey-nicey football and shirk the responsibilities when we’re not in possession. How many times did Burnley coast through the middle last night? That has to be stopped.

    We cannot leave the full backs as exposed as they were last night. But that’s the trouble with 4-3-3, the two wide front men don’t get back in support, often leaving the full back with two men to mark.

    Chris Burke, as experienced as he is, needs to learn when to cross the ball. He pi$$es about too much before he crosses the ball, which means the strikers have to keep adjusting their runs, trying anticipate when the ball might actually arrive. It happened time and again last night. He needs to beat his man ONCE then get the cross in. The strikers will benefit from that.

    The midfield need to practice passing to each other, because the ball is being given away far too much, which just puts pressure on the rest of the team. None of these problems are insurmountable, but they need to be sorted out sooner rather than later.

    At the end of the day, it’s not the manager who fails to get the ball away, or misses a tackle. It’s not the manager who gives the ball away or can’t pass the ball 4 yards to a team mate. It’s not the manager who can’t shoot straight. The players need to stand up and be counted and show they’re ready to battle for the shirt. If not, sit down and let someone else have a go.

    Just a few thoughts.

    • Carl Finlan says:

      calming head of robbo??? lets not forget 7 games in and he’s already banned does not bode well we need him on the pitch not in the stand he does need to calm down himself

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Maybe, but that’s Robbo. You might not like him, but he gives us something we don’t have without him. That much was evident last season.

        • Carlos says:

          Didn’y say I didn’t like him but he needs to stop picking up a booking every game otherwise we will be without him for more games as the season plods on

  • Frankie says:

    Doubt theres any use trying to explain to him using a bit of logic.
    OF COURSE he is going to pick a different team for every game. EVERY game is different and requires a different approach. If we had 12 or 13 trusted and tested players for this level then he would be more consistent, as would the results.
    He has a young and untested team and is ‘juggling’ a bit right now, anyone with the remotest bit of nous should be able to see that.
    Burnley ARE a better team than us right now, with a tried and trusted squad and more importantly a board of directors who CARE about their club.
    We will be OK, it just needs a bit of patience and a bit of understanding.

  • Frankie says:

    Excellent post by the way Staffs, restores a bit of faith.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’d just rather look at things in a constructive way. I could just shout “sack the manager” after every game, but I’d bore myself silly if I did. I’m getting on a bit, so I don’t have a panic button. :)

  • Carl Finlan says:

    not a good result listened to the radiobonly heard novaks name mentioned when he was taken off too many players off the boil. spector injured again. clark got rid of fahey saying he got injured too often the game was cying out for him last night

  • Frankie says:

    Not Clarks fault BCFC have been asset-stripped.


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