Inside Track: Burnley

By SFC Media Thu 22 Feb Burnley v Saints
Photo by Ian MacNicol | Getty Images

Lancashire Telegraph's Burnley reporter Tyrone Marshall gives us the lowdown on Southampton's opponents this weekend in the Premier League...

How would you assess Burnley’s season so far?

Although there’s been a recent blip you’d have to say it’s been very good, it’s difficult to have too many complaints when Burnley are seventh in the Premier League with 11 games to go. Until mid-December it was shaping up to be an incredible season. The wins were flowing home and away, with some memorable results on the road, but since going fourth, albeit briefly, on December 12, the club haven’t won since.

That they remain seventh shows partly how well they were doing in the first half of the season and also the inconsistencies of the chasing pack. If they can end that winless run soon and still finish comfortably in the top half then it will be a great season.

After enduring a winless run, what is the mood around the club and what have the performances been like since the side’s met at St Mary’s?

I think the mood remains good, despite not winning in 11 games. There have been plenty of injuries of late, with Sean Dyche describing it as the biggest injury crisis in his time at the club. That has robbed him of some key players and it’s shown in performances. There have been highs in this run without a win, with the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford and the 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City, but there has been some disappointing performances as well, including last time out at Swansea.

Who have the key men been for the Clarets of late?

Probably the wingers. Aaron Lennon has looked bright in his Burnley career so far after joining in January while Johann Berg Gudmundsson is having a very good season.
The Icelander has taken over from Robbie Brady as chief creator since his season-ending injury and he’s starting to add a couple more goals into his game as well.

The loss of Brady and Steven Defour for the season has certainly hit Burnley hard and Dyche will be desperate to get Chris Wood back in attack as well, with the striker in with a chance of returning this weekend.

What sort of game are you expecting?

Almost certainly a tight one. Turf Moor has witnessed just 19 goals in 13 games this season and I can’t see there being many on Saturday. Scoring goals has been an issue for the Clarets but they will be confident of keeping a clean sheet so if they can find one that might be enough.

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