The better team lost today

Last updated : 31 January 2005 By Tony Scholes

The Clarets went through with a 2-0 win but were fortunate after Bournemouth turned in an excellent performance that pleased manager Sean O’Driscoll.

“We performed like we can perform and that is all you can ask from the players,” he said at the final whistle.

“It didn’t drop for us in the box but I didn’t think we could do much more than we did. We hit the stanchion and the post at the same time and James Hayter dragged one past the post. We had hour chances but it wasn’t our day. The performance was really good, especially in the second half.”

Commenting on the Clarets he said, “They played 4-5-1, they have played that system for the last three games and also played it against Liverpool and even Liverpool failed to cope with it. Although they got beat at Cardiff last Saturday they had 70-80% of the possession and got beat by a back pass and a world class strike.

“So they play it well but we think we are a match for anybody possession wise so it was just a case of matching them up. As long as we worked hard off the ball then when we get the ball we are as good as anybody in division or higher.”

On to the game and he pointed to the first goal as being so important. “The first goal was always going to be crucial,” he added. “Once they got it they are a hard nut to crack, they don’t score many goals but they don’t give many away. It was then up to us to take the game by the scruff of the neck and try and force a replay or a win.

“In some sense I am glad it is out of the way. We didn’t particularly want a replay and would have taken the win. We have got another two away games, back up here on Tuesday night against x and then at Port Vale on Saturday and the cup run seems to have gone on for ever and ever. Now we can concentrate on the league, we are a few games behind and with a small squad that can be dangerous.”

Steve Cotterill was the first to admit that things hadn’t quite gone the way he had wanted despite the victory.

“I thought the better team lost today,” Steve admitted. “I have no gripes about that whatsoever. We felt it was a mirror image for us last week when we dominated the ball but lost at Cardiff.

Bournemouth dominated the ball today and they were excellent throughout I thought and I thought Mo Camara faced the toughest opponent he has faced all season in Wade Elliott. He did really well for them but he was only part of a team today.

“It was a no win situation for us. People will see the scoreline and think we’ve won and have expected that, but people in the game will know different.

“Goals win games though and we scored two and Ian Moore has also missed a point blank header and Granty’s chip against the woodwork was fantastic. We could have won 4-0 with those chances, but I don’t want to veer away from them being the better team.