We are Fred karno's army no longer

Last updated : 11 February 2002 By Tony Scholes

Given our past record at Oakwell we should be thankful for picking up our first point there in some 64 years. But was it a point gained or two lost? We were the better side, of that there is no doubt, but two away games in a week bringing in four points still means it has been a good week for us following the home defeat against West Brom.

Barnsley boss Steve Parkin was relieved to pick up a point admitting that the Clarets were the better side,

"I am a bit relieved really because I think in the first five minutes when we were really positive. If Sheron's goal would have counted then we would have probably been better than we were. After we scored the goal I thought we were pretty poor but it is a point gained rather than two lost.

"I think Burnley adapted to the conditions better than us and I think we had four or five players just off the boil really. In the end we could have easily lost the game if is was not for Kevin Miller who made some good saves.

"We did give too many free kicks away – we did it last week at Portsmouth and have done it again today but I don't think the referee helped and he was concentrating on being the star of the show unfortunately.

"I think everybody will be disappointed that we did not win but we have to concentrate on getting as many points as we can and when you don't play that well it is important that you do get something out of the game. We are not delighted by any means but we are pleased that we do have something to show for the 90 minutes work".

It was clear to all those at Oakwell that Stan was happy with the performance, the smile on his face at the end gave it away and he had this to say,

"I thought it was a good match in what were difficult conditions and thought we were the better team. Apart from the bad start and a nice goal by their guy, we perhaps should have had someone on the line, we created a lot of goal scoring opportunities. They did not get a break in front of goal.

"Kevin Ball had a wonderful header at the end, it was a great cross and a good header and anywhere else it goes in. We battled well but our lads will do that – we have had a bit of a sticky patch but are starting to get our players fit again now.

"Against a side on a run like Barnsley who haven't lost for 12 games you have to feel it was a good performance. So we just have to take what we did here into our next game and try and get the three points".

Miller defies Burnley

Alan Combes at Oakwell (Sunday Times)

ONE could not argue with Burnley manager Stan Ternent's assertion that "we were the better team apart from the start, but we just didn't get any breaks in front of goal."

Two saves bordering on the heroic by Kevin Miller in the final five minutes kept the home team in the game. As their manager Steve Parkin admitted: "I'm relieved because, apart from the first five minutes, I thought we were poor today. They adapted to the windy conditions far better than us and we had about five players who were off the boil. Had it not been for Kevin Miller's saves late in the game, we would have lost."

However, it has to be said that Barnsley were denied two goals, one in the first five minutes of each half, which many considered to be perfectly legitimate. A touch-in by Mike Sheron following Darren Barnard's centre had the home fans on their feet, but the referee then signalled an offside on the advice of his assistant.

Much more questionable in Parkin's eyes was a Chris Morgan header disallowed for climbing, on 50 minutes. "All that happened was that he arrived early for the high corner and headed home. He didn't climb to get there," Parkin said.

Barnard made amends for having been denied an early goal with a superbly executed free kick just two minutes afterwards. Using the wind to advantage, he swirled the kick over the wall, leaving Marlon Beresford stranded.

It was largely thanks to Paul Weller, who had a superb first half, that Burnley pegged back the home side. He saw a gap between Barnsley's right-side defenders and threaded the ball through for Lee Briscoe. The defender crossed with precision for Gareth Taylor to nod home with relative ease.

Ternent waited until the 73rd minute before sending on Robbie Blake and maybe Ian Moore wasn't the right man to take off. Blake is his million-pound signing and as Ternent will tell you: "A million is a fortune to us and we have to be sure of the player to spend it." Nothing was sure about Blake today in his 17 minutes, but he may be just the man to mix it for the Clarets over the next three months.

"We still have a third of the season to go and I am confident we will be there or thereabouts," said the Burnley boss, glowing at the performance of young Brad Maylett, who filled in for Glenn Little very effectively in the last 10 minutes.

"We now have a strong squad," said Ternent, "rather than the Fred Karno's army I inherited."