Match summed up our season

PUBLISHED: 16:07 01 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:19 14 September 2010

It was rather fitting in a way to have the threads of sixth place torn apart at Burnley, fitting as our whole season was summed up in those 90 minutes; 15 minutes of good football and missed chances, 75 minutes of dross, two injuries, an unnecessary change of formation and an early goal conceded.

It was rather fitting in a way to have the threads of sixth place torn apart at Burnley, fitting as our whole season was summed up in those 90 minutes; 15 minutes of good football and missed chances, 75 minutes of dross, two injuries, an unnecessary change of formation and an early goal conceded.

Last season's poor performances were mainly put down to injuries by the club. With that in mind, wouldn't anyone, in their right mind, safeguard against that happening again?

Nope. We started this season with less players knowing full well we would be playing more games more frequently. Seeing how influential David Bentley was in manufacturing our goals in the Premiership shows the importance of quality wingers.

Learn from that did we? Nope. Why don't we have one recognised orthodox right winger in our squad?

At Turf-less Burnley, against a side who had yet to claim a point from six matches, scoring four times since the New Year, we could have pressured the play-off pack.

We chose not to play a settled side, (excluding the straight swop for Paul McVeigh.) Again, like Fulham, and so many others this season, a little bit of pressure and we performed like an over-dunked biscuit, we tried to keep together but within minutes we were in a mess all over the place.

Last season we had the worst away form, hammered 4-0 by teams going through a 'barren spell.' This season only three teams have lost more away. A goal difference of minus 16 is beaten by four other teams, mainly due to the fact that again we've been hammered four-something too many times.

Away games are all about keeping things tight, having two banks of four behind the ball, closing people down quickly, maintaining concentration and then taking your chances when you get them, providing you have the quality to create them.

These are supposed to be the hallmarks of what Nigel Worthington is all about; work ethic, earning the right to play, competing. In the pursuit of this we have found quality pushed to one side, and the replacements have failed to install any form of confidence in the fans.

Our midfield has been absent virtually all season, and so has our shape. Despite signing the new Damien Francis twice, one has been farmed off twice and the other is pulling splinters out of his back side.

The only player to get any real credit is Youssef Safri, but he looks disheartened. That said, I'd be pretty disappointed if I was an international midfielder seemingly dropped to play an aging left back who won't be here next season.

Failure is failure but excuses can only be mitigating factors not a form of defence, especially in an excuse-free zone.

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