Leicester draw a turning point for Burnley
Burnley remain winless and in the relegation zone after seven games, but a hard-fought point at Leicester City provided a bright spark of hope for Clarets supporters.
October 10th, 2014
Sean Dyche was without seven key players through injury by the time substitute Ross Wallace curled in a 96th minute free-kick to earn a 2-2 draw that showed huge character.
Burnley needed a positive response after the disappointment of their previous result – a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of West Brom – and although Dyche’s team was still patched-up, much more fight and resilience was on show at the King Power Stadium.
The Clarets still don’t look like winning, but at Leicester they scored their first goals in nearly 11 hours of football. After getting that particular monkey off their backs, the players will be looking forward to successive winnable home games against West Ham United and Everton after the international break. Burnley finally have some positive momentum.
Wallace’s goal might well end up being a big turning point for Burnley. Dyche will have a few of his injured players back fit after a fortnight off, and the return of key men such as Danny Ings, Dean Marney and David Jones will be a big boost to the squad.
The atmosphere in the away end at the King Power Stadium was also one of the best in recent years, and Burnley supporters need to replicate that for crucial fixtures at Turf Moor. The ground was a fortress for the club last season, but two points from three home games will need to be improved upon if Dyche’s team is to have a chance of staying up.
With Everton’s lowly league position surely an anomaly at this early stage of the season, Burnley have a four-point gap to make up on Stoke City. Even after only seven matches there is a chance the Clarets could get cut adrift at the bottom unless they win soon. Beating West Ham looks to be absolutely vital.
Despite failing to open his Burnley account yet, striker Lukas Jutkiewicz appears to be growing in confidence each game. He dominated the Leicester defence and although the few clear chances he’s had haven’t been converted, he seems to be getting closer to that first goal.
Dyche will need to spend lots of time working with his defence over the international break, after three successive clean sheets were followed by six goals conceded in two away games. Burnley are likely to struggle in front of goal all season so they need to keep things tight at the other end if they are to pick up results.
Set pieces must be improved both defensively and offensively too. Burnley’s back five looked all at sea at The Hawthorns, conceding from two corners in the first half, and was little improved at Leicester. Burnley’s own set pieces have been poor all season – Wallace’s stunning free-kick apart – and as this can be a rich source of cheap goals, Dyche must find a way to use them better.
Dyche will still be confident he can pull off another huge achievement by keeping Burnley in the Premier League. But his team has to win soon.