Going Down?: Burnley

Last updated : 19 March 2007 By Tony Scholes
What's gone wrong this season for your team?
This is a question we're all asking. In the last minute of our last win back in November Andy Gray suffered three broken metatarsals. We had no one to replace him and the goals just basically dried up.

Andy's been back but is far from fit. We signed Ade Akinbiyi but he's struggling to get match fitness and we simply don't score goals. We are relatively solid at the back but if we could start finding the net we would be OK.

Are you behind the manager? Or is it all his fault?
No one person is ever to blame for a situation like this. He must shoulder some responsibility, but at the end of the day he can't influence situations such as hitting the woodwork twice at Preston or a player making a hash with a header in the very last minute of Southend.

Steve Cotterill is under pressure from the fans, and quite rightly so, but the chairman is loyal and is a strong chairman, and the manager looks certain to see this through with us.

Which will be the key games in your run-in?
The ones we win to get to safety will be the key games, whichever they are. In terms of relegation battles our last away game is at Leeds but our very next game is against Luton at home, and that one is a massive game for us now. A win there and things could just start to look much better for us.

Predict how many points you'll finish on. Will that be enough to stay up?
For some time I've thought 48 points might be enough to stay up, so I'll stick with that for now. I'd like a couple more for safety so I'll suggest we might finish with 50 points, and that would surely see us still in the Championship next season.

Do you think Hull City will survive the drop?
Yes I do. It has all fluctuated in recent weeks but a team that can go out and beat Birmingham and Preston as Hull have done recently must be in with a more than good chance of beating the drop.

Which three teams are going down?
Leeds - Probably because I'd like to see them go down. I've waited for them to start winning all season, believing that it was just a matter of time. They haven't, they are still stuck down there and wouldn't it be good to see Bates, Wise and Poyet suffer agony?
Luton - Difficult one this because of what's gone on this week with Mike Newell getting the sack. Their current run of form isn't much better than ours, they are already down there and I think they'll stay there.
Southend - Really are a poor side and I cannot believe they have taken four points from us this season. Yes I can, we've failed to score against them. They are the only team at the bottom with more away games than home games left and I think that could be crucial.

If you're staying up, will you be in another relegation fight next season?/If you're going down will you bounce straight back up?
To answer the first one - I think if we survive this then we'll have a much better season next time round. I don't expect to see us struggling at the bottom end of the table.

Should we go down - bouncing straight back is never the easiest thing to do and much will depend on what sort of squad we might have. It may be necessary to lose some of our better players and bring in cheaper options. I do know that going down would be disastrous for us.

Burnley's form this season:

Tony Scholes is editor of Clarets MAD.