Going Down?: Burnley

What were your expectations at the start of the season? Have they been
matched?

I think in all fairness we knew just how difficult it was going to be for
us. No side had ever gone into the Premier League with a budget like ours
and we knew it was a case of fighting the odds to stay in.

A great start at home (5 wins from the first 6) have masked what has been a
difficult season but to still be in with some sort of chance of staying up
with seven games to go is better than a lot of people might have imagined.

The problem is that expectations are always higher amongst supporters than
they probably should be. Some believe we should have bet the ranch to stay
up, but looking at the other clubs around us I would much rather be in our
position financially should we go down.

Has the manager done a good enough job?
This one is impossible to answer because of the circumstances at our club in January. Our former manager had taken us to the Premier League via the play
offs and, although we'd gone nine games without a win, was considered God by
the Burnley fans. A relegation wouldn't have damaged his reputation amongst
the fans, but his walking out amidst lies and deceit, whilst taking the
complete backroom staff with him has most certainly changed that reputation.

Brian Laws has come in - mid January - and with one win and one draw it is
clear he's not made the best of starts and we've dropped into the bottom
three. He's coming under some heavy criticism but that's unfair. He picked
things up when we were already on the slide, we had just two weeks of the
transfer window left and it was a hell of a difficult job.

Predictions

Remaining fixtures:

Blackburn (H) W

Those are not so much predictions but the sort of results we would need to stay up. Obviously the key game for all Burnley fans is this weekend's against Blackburn Rovers, our first top flight meeting at Turf Moor since 1965.

In terms of the relegation situation then it is probably the Hull game now - a win there would surely condemn them to relegation alongside Portsmouth leaving us, hopefully, to battle it out with West Ham who are now surely the only other club in it.

Man City (H) L
Hull City (A) W
Sunderland (A) L
Liverpool (H) W
Birmingham (A) D
Tottenham (H) D
Points: 35

Will you stay up? What position?
I have to be confident and say we'll be 17th.

The bottom 3:
18. West Ham
19. Hull
20. Portsmouth

Tony Scholes is editor of Clarets Mad

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