The goal was fit to win any match

Last updated : 13 January 2008 By Tony Scholes
Sturrock was so disappointed with the way his team performed that he's told his players in no uncertain terms that things are going to change. "Starting tomorrow, as I've warned the players, it is Paul Sturrock's way now, full flung," he said after seeing his side turn in an inept performance.

"It is either my way or the highway as far as a lot of them are concerned. I came here and vowed that I would not change things very quickly but there have been too many away games lately when we have not done the appropriate things to win games.

"I've allowed this club to roll on in the same vein as when I arrived. I'm not going to go down the road that we've been very successful with in the past. The gloves are off now as far as me not changing things and taking a back seat on a lot of things. I hope the players will appreciate now that things will change rapidly on the training ground and that a lot of them will have to grasp the nettle."

Sturrock lost striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake last week when he triggered a get out clause in his contract to move to Wolves. "I am not allowing the players to use that as an excuse," he added. I would not allow myself to use it. It has been a disappointing week but our players are stronger characters than that.

"At the end of the day you look for a passion, and a will to win, which I did not see today. We were not helped by injuries to key players. The back four has changed and obviously the suspension to David Norris hasn't helped the cause.

"Today showed we can't afford to have a lack of experienced players. Being a small squad, when you have injuries or suspensions, it affects you. We've taken a defeat, but it was the style of the defeat, of too many people playing not to lose, rather than to win. In the end, we got exactly what we deserved - nothing.

"Had we had that verve that we showed when we went to Watford, and at other places this season, we could have got more out of the game, but we sat and waited and waited until the inevitable happened, and it could have happened much earlier than it did.

"Burnley came out with a different game plan to what we expected. We eventually matched up, but there were several players who never played anywhere near the standards that I would expect of them, and it really, really needs competition for places.

Sturrock might well have been upset but Owen Coyle certainly wasn't as he sampled a Turf Moor victory for the first time. He wasn't for taking any of the credit after the game although it was the player he brought on as a substitute who scored the winning goal ten minutes later.

"Robbie Blake hadn't trained all week, but he looked lively on Friday and Robbie being Robbie he wanted to play," Coyle explained. "We had a decision to make, but I felt that if he came on he could make an impact.

"Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't, but it certainly wasn't scripted and all credit to Robbie who looked really lively when he came on. He gave us that little spark and ultimately it was a great goal that was worthy of winning any game.

"It would have been nice to get a second one, but it is a monkey off the lads' back. We've won the first home game of 2008 and we just have to make sure that we take that on and go and churn out some more victories at Turf Moor. The fans were great again and we are delighted to reward them for their loyalty. I think you saw that at the end when, to a man, the players went to each side of the stadium."

Coyle added: "Getting the win is obviously nice and there is no getting away from the fact that the longer it goes on, the more irritating it gets. We have aspirations of trying to win games on a weekly basis, but when I look back there is still only one performance that has disappointed me and that was at Blackpool.

"There were reasons for that, but the home performances have been fine. It has just been the points that haven't tallied with that, but we certainly worked hard to get them today.

"We had to make changes and so we changed the system slightly and went 4-3-3. Ade Akinbiyi would definitely have been involved, but he tweaked his back and we need to get to the bottom of that now because it is the second time it has happened.

"However, I think we showed good spirit on the day and the three points were well merited. I thought we were always a threat and passed the ball well. There were numerous crosses going into the box and in the end the goal was fit to win any match."