It's just a matter of playing out the remaining three games now. We've nothing else to play for with Championship football confirmed again for next season.
|Chris McCann scored in the win at West Ham|
Having said that, it really would be good if we could equal or even break the record for away wins in a season. It currently stands at eleven despite our own clubs attempts at changing the rules a year ago by getting Aldershot's expunged record of 1991/92 season included.
It is recognised as eleven and was created by Burnley with the 'Iron Curtain' defence team of 1946/47 that won promotion to the First Division. We equalled it in 1960/61, the season after the Championship success and again during the title winning seasons of 1972/73 (Second Division, when we lost just twice on the road) and 1991/92 (Fourth Division).
I'm not sure any of us would have believed we could be heading for Leicester with ten away wins to our name. We are not a club with a reputation for winning away and just over a year ago we couldn't buy a win on the road, not even when we were two goals up in games.
Then Eddie Howe replaced Brian Laws and we've won a total of 15 away games in the league, losing the same number and drawing just three. The reverse of that is the home form is nothing like as good.
Howe's first away win, indeed his first win, was at Portsmouth and recently we went back and chalked up our biggest away win in over thirteen years. Derby and Hull are two more grounds where we've been twice in this period and won both.
Best away win? Undoubtedly that had to be the 2-1 win at the Boleyn Ground against West Ham. No one gave us much of a chance but we came from behind to win it with goals from Chris McCann and Sam Vokes.
Best away performance? My choice would be Middlesbrough. I thought we were sensational in the first half when Jay Rodriguez and Kieran Trippier got the goals in a 2-0 win.
So to tonight, and before last season I'm sure we'd have been going with the utmost confidence having played there five times previously with a 0-0 draw and four 1-0 wins.
The problem we've got is the continued lack of available players. Quite how we'd have coped had we been battling at either end of the table is anyone's guess. None of the injured players are fit to return so we'll go with the same squad as we had on Saturday.
I don't expect any changes to the starting eleven so we should line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Ross Wallace, Josh McQuoid, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings. Subs: Brian Jensen, Danny Lafferty, Marvin Bartley, Cameron Howieson, Joe Jackson.
Our Opponents - Leicester City
We should be surprised that Leicester will be playing Championship football next season, as they almost certainly will. Given the money they've spent under their Thai owners they really should be heading for the Premier League.
They've bought a lot of players at high prices. Their wage bill will be right at the top of the Championship but, as managers come and go, they haven't threatened all season. On the day we beat Hull at the end of November they beat Blackpool to go into sixth place but that's the only time they've been in a play off position and they've been a midfield outfit all season.
Sven Goran Eriksson spent a lot of money before he moved on, to be replaced by Nigel Pearson who had been their manager just a season and a half earlier before going to Hull.
They go into the game ahead of us, but just by two points meaning a win for the Clarets tonight would see us climb above them again.
Like Burnley, they are expected to name the same team that lost at Millwall on Saturday. That team was: Kasper Schmeichel, Lee Peltier, Wes Morgan, Souleymane Bamba, Paul Konchesky, Paul Gallagher, Richie Wellens, Andy King, Ben Marshall, Jermaine Beckford, David Nugent. Subs: Sean St. Ledger, Jeffrey Schlupp, Steve Howard, Daniel Drinkwater, Lloyd Dyer.
Last Time We Were There
Last season's trip to Leicester was very much one to forget. We went there in poor form having picked up just one point in the previous four games but this was a disastrous day for us as we fell to a comprehensive 4-0 defeat which, in truth, could have been a lot worse.
|Nathan Delfouneso set up the chance for Chris Eagles|
We had an early chance that Chris Eagles spurned and then offered precious little to the game and just about nothing once we'd fallen behind midway through the first half.
Following the defeat to Ipswich in the midweek, Eddie Howe shuffled his pack. Out went Lee Grant, Shane Duffy, Marvin Bartley and Ross Wallace to be replaced by Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Wade Elliott and Chris Iwelumo, who played up front on his own with both Nathan Delfouneso and Jay Rodriguez employed wide.
It was Delfouneso who set up the early chance for Eagles but he pulled out when he saw the advancing Chris Weale. Our chance of an early goal had gone and we didn't get another of any note all afternoon.
It was 1-0 to Leicester at half time through Diomansy Kamara. They deserved their lead and in the second half added three more without reply. Paul Gallagher, hardly surprisingly, was on the scoresheet with two, one of which was from the penalty spot, and Patrick Van Aanholt completed the scoring on what was very much a day to forget for the Clarets.
The teams were:
Leicester: Chris Weale, Angelo Miguel Vitor, Souleymane Bamba, Ben Mee, Patrick Van Aanholt, Richie Wellens, Matt Oakley (Yuki Abe 79), Andy King, Diomansy Kamara (Darius Vassell 73), Yakubu (Steve Howard 73), Paul Gallagher. Subs not used: Ricardo Pereira, Joao Teixeira, Lloyd Dyer, Bruno Berner.
Burnley: Brian Jensen, Tyrone Mears, Michael Duff, Andre Bikey, Brian Easton, Dean Marney, Wade Elliott (Ross Wallace 73), Nathan Delfouneso, Chris Eagles, Jay Rodriguez (Graham Alexander 86), Chris Iwelumo (Steven Thompson 73). Subs not used: Lee Grant, David Edgar, Clarke Carlisle, Shane Duffy.
Previous Games against Leicester City
|Last 20 Years|
|2002/03||Division 1||a||1-0||26,254||I Moore|
|2010/11||Championship||h||3-0||15,516||Wallace, Iwelumo, Alexander(pen)|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Leicester City