The season has really slipped away in the last few weeks and any hopes of having anything to play for has definitely come to an end in the last two games this week with only one point and no goals in the two away games against Cardiff City and Ipswich Town.
|Junior Stanislas set to face his former club|
There is no doubt that this season has now just about been given up on and that was so evident two days ago when three players - Zavon Hines (Bournemouth), Keith Treacy (Sheffield Wednesday) and Andre Amougou (Bristol City) - were allowed to leave on loan. Those three players might well get some first team football now this season, something that wasn't going to happen for them at Turf Moor.
On Wednesday, Eddie Howe said how many players come in would be determined by how many he could get out on loan, but there were no incomings at all and that means he's now got a squad of 18 players to complete the season with one of them, Brian Easton, seemingly not under consideration.
He's said that he'll use the younger players to fill in on the bench and, with many of the development squad gone, or out on loan, it can only mean the youth team who are, this weekend, getting a much deserved break in preparation for the FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday against Blackburn Rovers.
To today, and it's a special one for Junior Stanislas who will hope to feature against his former team mates.
He joined the Clarets in August and was a regular in the side before suffering a hamstring injury at Middlesbrough in January but has returned in the last two games.
He spoke about that move to Turf Moor. "Moving was a big step in my life and not really just football," said Stanislas. "I've been in London my whole life and I've never moved anywhere else.
"I was at West Ham for my whole career really, so moving up here was a big step and there were a lot of changes to be made. Since I've been here I haven't really set the world on fire. It it's taken a little while to settle in.
"I probably was settling in when I got injured but I'm back now and hopefully I can have a good end to the season. Hopefully it's onwards and upwards for me."
He added: "Getting into the play-off is looking to be very difficult, so as long as we can have a strong end to the season then hopefully we can put it right next season.
"It's good to win any game but I used to be there and still have friends there so it would be nice to get one over them I suppose.
"I wasn't raised a West Ham fan but obviously I still have a lot of love for the club. They bought me up through the system and gave me my first-team opportunity, so I've got a lot to be thankful for and I enjoyed my time there.
"I say it's special because it's a good occasion to play against some of my old friends and staff members that I worked with, but as for a point to prove, I don't really feel as if I have. I moved up here because I wasn't playing as regularly as I wanted down there. I've done that here, so as far as a point to prove, I wouldn't really say so."
Stanislas is expected to take his place in the Burnley team this afternoon but the rest of the line up is difficult to determine. If Danny Lafferty is passed fit then he'll likely start in an unchanged back four but it is the other positions that might be up for grabs.
Ross Wallace could come back in after surprisingly being left out at Ipswich and maybe Martin Paterson will be back in for Charlie Austin. Danny Ings should return to the squad after missing the Ipswich game with a hip injury.
We could line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas, Martin Paterson, Jay Rodriguez. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Ben Mee, Marvin Bartley, Josh McQuoid, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin.
Our Opponents - West Ham United
I would think one result West Ham won't be looking for is a 1-1 draw. A look at their recent results shows that has been the final score in each of their last four games.
In two of those games, at home to Watford and at Leeds, they have been thankful for late equalisers. Former Barnsley striker Ricardo Vaz Te grabbed an 87th minute leveller at home to Watford and at Leeds Danny Collins, on loan from Stoke, scored in the last minute of normal time.
The boot was very much on the other foot in midweek. This time they were in front before a late Middlesbrough goal gave the Teesside club a share of the spoils at the Boleyn Ground. The other 1-1 scoreline in this sequence was also at home to Doncaster Rovers.
Their home form is ok but there have been too many draws although they have only been beaten three times. Their last home defeat was a memorable one for us when goals from Chris McCann and Sam Vokes turned things round to give us a 2-1 win.
Away from home, they have more points than any other club in the Championship. They've won ten, drawn four and lost four.
Besides the draw at Leeds, they've also returned with a single point from Millwall, Crystal Palace and Birmingham City. Significantly, two of the away defeats have come at Southampton and Reading, the two teams above them in the table. The other defeats have been suffered at Derby County and Ipswich Town where they suffered a 5-1 hammering.
They've scored 29 goals on the road, a figure bettered only by Southampton who have netted thirty times in away games. West Ham's overall total of goals in the league is 57 and those goals have come from a total of 21 different players.
Leading goalscorers are Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan who have both got nine in the league. Mark Noble comes next with seven but all have been from the penalty spot.
For today's game they will still be without a quintet of injured players. Vaz Te is out with a hamstring injury and alongside him on the injured list are Julian Faubert (groin), Winston Reid (head), Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) and Guy Demel (thigh).
West Ham lined up for their game against Middlesbrough on Tuesday as follows: Robert Green, Andy O'Brien, Abdoulaye Faye, Danny Collins, George McCartney, Mark Noble, James Tomkins, Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole, Nicky Maynard. Subs: Henri Lansbury, Ravel Morrison, Jack Collison, Sam Baldock, John Carew.
There was no goalkeeper in that squad but Stephen Henderson, recently signed on loan from Portsmouth, could be included on the bench.
Last Time They Were Here
It's a long time since we last beat West Ham at home at this level. We have to go back to the 1978/79 season when we came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with goals from Ian Brennan, Paul Fletcher and Jim Thomson on the day that news broke that Leighton James was returning to the club from Queens Park Rangers.
However, the last win against them came just two seasons ago and provided Brian Laws with his first win as Burnley manager in his second home game in charge.
|Debut goal for Danny Fox|
There were times in the Premier League season when we didn't really get the rub of the green, but in this game it is probably fair to say that Lady Luck was on our side.
The win brought to an end a run of twelve Premier League games without a win and Laws made two changes to the team that has been so unfortunate to lose 2-1 a week earlier against Chelsea and the two players coming in hadn't been available for that previous game.
Danny Fox had signed from Celtic and came in for his debut at the expense of Christian Kalvenes and David Nugent had returned from Portsmouth and replaced Chris Eagles. West Ham had reported during the week that they were £110 million in debt and had promptly signed three new strikers.
It was a vital game and we started well putting West Ham under some real pressure, and we got in front just before the quarter hour with the two new men (if Nugent could be considered new) delivering.
Clarke Carlisle played the ball across the back to Fox who played a delightful ball up the pitch for Nugent and Matthew Upson to chase. Nugent forced Upson into an error and he lobbed Rob Green to give the Clarets the lead.
It was the first time we'd been in front for 12 games in the league and thankfully we held the lead despite Benni McCarthy, signed that week from Blackburn, having two chances, both of which he missed.
We were still in front at half time and that lead doubled early in the second half when Fox crowned his debut with a goal. We won a free kick just outside the penalty box on the right and he curled it into the far corner with Green helpless.
What then looked an easy win turned into a difficult last twenty minutes. West Ham put us under some real pressure. They rightly had a goal disallowed, they hit the bar from a free kick and pulled one back with nine minutes remaining from Araujo Ilan who had come on as a substitute.
In the end we battled through and finally got that bit of luck we needed and deserved, but it was all hands to the pumps before that final whistle blew.
The teams were;
Burnley: Brian Jensen, Tyrone Mears, Clarke Carlisle, Leon Cort, Danny Fox (David Edgar 86), Wade Elliott, Kevin McDonald, Andre Bikey, Robbie Blake (Martin Paterson 73), David Nugent (Steven Thompson 88), Steven Fletcher. Subs not used: Nicky Weaver, Michael Duff, Jack Cork, Chris Eagles.
West Ham: Rob Green, Julien Faubert, James Tomkins, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector, Valon Behrami, Scott Parker, Mark Noble (Araujo Ilan 77), Jack Collison (Junior Stanislas 62), Carlton Cole, Benni McCarthy (Mido 45). Subs not used: Marek Stech, Radoslav Kovac, Manuel Da Costa, Herita Ilunga.
Previous Games against West Ham United
|Last 20 Years|
|2003/04||Championship||a||2-2||31,474||Facey, I Moore|
|2009/10||Premier League||a||3-5||34,003||Fletcher(2), Eagles|
Click HERE to see all previous results against West Ham United