Our finishing let us down

Last updated : 24 January 2005 By Tony Scholes

Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence was aware that things went his side’s way somewhat but felt that they did deserve the three points with us not having created anything.

“For once things went our way and we got to move up a few places,” he said after the game. “We’ve had a good run but due to the other sides around us also doing well we had remained in fourth from bottom place until today.

Burnley had plenty of possession but they failed to make any real chances at all. I cannot recall one save that Neil Alexander had to make apart from a late free kick. They came here to play a 4-5-1 formation and that makes it tough to play through the midfield, but we were able to play around them and create openings.”

Lawrence was pleased to get back to winning ways after the FA Cup defeat at Blackburn and added, “We were disappointed after Wednesday. It was a lot of travelling and it was the same at Leeds playing on a heavy pitch. I’m pleased we got through today. It wasn’t a classic game but we ground it out and didn’t do anything daft and we got the goals at the right time.

“We got the rub of the green with some of the referee’s decisions and Burnley can rightfully feel aggrieved about that, but the decisions that went against them didn’t cost them the game. As we know to our cost translating possession into goals isn’t always the case, they didn’t do that and that’s what has cost them.”

Having moved up a couple of places Lawrence feels his side are close to ending any fears of going down. “We have a fifteen day gap now but then go to West Ham and to be honest we’ll be under no pressure in that game whereas they will be. If we beat Brighton the following week then I’d say we’d be out of a relegation battle.”

Clarets’ boss Steve Cotterill felt that his side deserved much more than a 2-0 defeat and described the result as a travesty. “It was a game we dominated but we conceded two poor goals. The first was a bad back-pass and the second was a deflection,” he claimed at the end.

“We needed more conviction when their keeper dropped the ball at the end and one of our players should have been there. It is a travesty how we haven’t got anything, it was in the final third and our finishing that let us down because I thought Micah Hyde, Tony Grant and James O’Connor were immaculate in the midfield.

“I would have been happy with that performance before the game, but not to have got nothing out of it.”

Steve commented on the injury situation and in particular captain Frank Sinclair and Richard Chaplow. “Frank just felt his hamstring tighten but he’s okay. We just can’t afford to lose anyone else so that is why we took him off.

“Richard Chaplow didn’t train on Friday afternoon because he took a whack to his ankle against Liverpool and he’s been limping around. We left it overnight to see how he was because when we asked him he didn’t know whether he’d be able to play for ten minutes. He spoke to Andy Mitchell and we decided to use him from the bench.”

On the future of James O’Connor Steve concluded, “That was his last game as it is now, I don’t know about the future.”