Q&A With Burnley

  • February 11, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/7e387

Ahead of the 123rd meeting between Bolton and Burnley on Tuesday night, we have got the views of a Clarets supporter.

After drawing at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, Wanderers welcome their Lancashire neighbours to the Reebok Stadium as they look to put an end to a seven-game winless run in the league.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken to Jamie Smith - editor of Burnley website NoNayNever.net. Ahead of Tuesday's game, Jamie shares his views on the Clarets' battle against Queens Park Rangers for automatic promotion, the 'excellent' Tyrone Mears and why Chris Eagles could be Bolton's dangerman against his former employers.

Q: Burnley are currently 2nd in the Championship, level on points with Queens Park Rangers but 10 behind leaders Leicester City. With the title looking more unlikely with every passing week, do you think you can end the season in the promotion places?

A: It's a very big ask, especially with QPR likely to just continue bringing in players and hoping they come up with an XI that works. Charlie Austin's injury will hurt them despite their FOUR deadline day striker signings, so it depends what gels for them.

But we need to sort ourselves out and with the Bolton match being our game in hand it's vital we get a result. I still think we'll come up slightly short, but the top-six is still a fine achievement for us really. The nightmare scenario is losing to Blackburn Rovers in the play-offs.

Q: Danny Ings and Sam Vokes have scored 39 goals between them this season - one more than the entire Bolton squad. Does your success depend on keeping them both fit, or can Burnley cope without them?

A: We've brought in Ashley Barnes as cover, but it's obvious we'd find it harder if either of them got injured. Vokes is absolutely vital to our style of play and Ings is capable of moments of magic, creating goals from nothing. We're extremely lucky to have them. They're good for at least a goal a game usually.

Barnes hasn't scored yet, but has looked lively in his little cameos off the bench. Ings and Vokes have barely missed a game between them, so fingers crossed that lasts.

Q: Former Clarets players Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears are currently on the books at the Reebok Stadium. Mears is out-of-favour, but Eagles remains a regular in the side. What are your memories of these two from their time at Turf Moor?

A: Mears was excellent - one of the best full-backs we've had in recent years, especially at winning(!) penalties. But Kieran Trippier is even better so we've not missed him at all.

Eagles was a funny one for us. He blew a bit hot and cold but if he was consistent he'd be a Premier League player. We could use someone like him for a bit of extra spark right now and a goal threat from out wide, but Sean Dyche likes his wingers to work exceptionally hard and I'm not sure Eagles is up for that. He wasn't in the team when we went up last time for the same reason.

Bottom line is neither would get in our side now.

Q: Bolton go into the game in 19th place, five points above the bottom three. What does the rest of the season have in store for us?

A: No idea. I thought you'd do well this season, so it's a surprise to see you down there. I can't see Dougie Freedman lasting much longer, especially after the 'acting manager' thing at the weekend.

Your squad looks much better than your results. In fact, I had Bolton on my start of the season four division title winners acca, so you've let me down there.

Q: Ings and Vokes aside, which player do you think poses the biggest threat to Wanderers on Tuesday night?

A: Trippier, no doubt about it. He is by far and away the best right-back in the league and his delivery from deep positions is a major asset. He'll be in the Premier League next season whether or not we go up and he could be a future England international if he steps up well.

Q: On the other hand, which Bolton player is likely to cause trouble to the Clarets defence?

A: Eagles and Chung-Yong Lee are both good wingers and we were apparently in for Lukas Jutkiewicz, so perhaps you'll cause us some problems.

I'm sure Eagles will be up for it anyway. But let's be brutally honest - our defence should have little to fear from a team in relegation trouble. That's not to say they should take a result for granted though, and we've not kept many clean sheets recently, conceding some sloppy goals from set pieces, so you never know. Your big lads could be a threat from Eagles' set pieces.

Q: Finally, let's hear your score prediction for the 124th meeting between the two clubs.

A: We played really well at the weekend in beating Millwall and a similar performance should see us win again. But I'm naturally a pessimist, so I'll say a repeat of the 1-1 from earlier in the season.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Jamie for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @NoNayNeverNet - or by checking out NoNayNever.net.

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