Post Match Bullets – Burnley
The Rams went into yesterday’s game on a tidal wave of positivity on the back of two thumping wins, knowing that another one would have landed us firmly in the top 6 going into the international break.
With no league wins at Pride Park this season and no wins against Burnley anywhere since 2007, even the law of averages suggested a DCFC win. Here’s my thoughts on where it all went belly up.
- I’m not a Clough hater but his inexplicable decision to play Coutts instead of Eustace yesterday was catastrophic. Our midfield was again unbalanced with Hughes majesty and Bryson’s energy completely nullified by having to play so deep. This made it very easy for Burnley to put the standard 9 men behind the ball and watch Bucko and Keogh play keep ball.I can only assume Clough was trying to give us some width after the Leicester shut out but Eustace was born to play at the back of a diamond and can anyone remember the last time Coutts played well at Pride Park? Sorry Nigel, but this was an absolute shocker.
- No question, the first two goals were horrendous and Cough has blamed Freeman for both. Kieran had a bad day no doubt, however Bucko was caught in two minds on the first one (“Will I get sent off if I axe him?) and was out muscled too easily. The second goal was a shambles and Granty didn’t cover himself in glory there chasing a cross he was never going to get. Without wishing to labour the point, had Eustace been on the pitch, Ings would have found himself in the directors box long before he got anywhere near our area.
- Regardless of the horror defending, this wasn’t like the Leicester game and both Russell and Martin missed a series of clear chances at key moments. Martins miss in the 6 yard box right on half time, Russell’s blast in the side just after half time and the penalty all would have changed the whole feel of the match. Yes, the defending was poor but for me the finishing was as bad if not worse. Sammon should have been on long before he was after his display on Tuesday.
- One minor positive from yesterday was the second half performance of Adam Smith, who looked a really good, intelligent and positive full back. It’s tough on Freeman who has done really well so far, but I think you will see Smith starting at Millwall for certain.
- After all the good work in the previous week, there was a really worrying sense of “nothings changed” after yesterday. I really hope that’s not true.
Much talk after the game was again about the need for a dominant centre half, which we certainly need (Shackell anyone?). However Clough’s programme notes and the fact that DCFC simply “don’t do” transfer windows, suggests we may be waiting to loan somebody once it closes.
Either way, it’s going to be a long two weeks.