The Half Term Report

We sit 14th in the table. That's one position lower than we were at the end of last season and five places behind our ninth place at the half way stage in the 2011/12 season which came after the 3-0 Boxing Day home win against Doncaster.

This time last year we had three points more than we have now having just won five of the previous six games, and with four wins to follow in the next four games we kept on the coat tails of the play off positions for a while longer before a disappointing end to the season.

We lost Jay Rodriguez to Southampton in the summer but Eddie Howe boosted the squad with the signings of Jason Shackell, Brian Stock, Sam Vokes, Joseph Mills, Luke O'Neill and George Porter.

Martin Paterson scored the first goal against Bolton

After a strange pre-season where the biggest game was at Bury, I'd say that back in August, if supporters had been polled, the expectancy level would have been for us to me somewhere in mid-table and that's where we are around half way.

We've done well against the three teams relegated from the Premier League, winning two and drawing one, albeit all three of them were at home, but the results against the three promoted clubs have not been so good with only one point gained, that against Sheffield Wednesday.

Coincidentally, the other seven games have brought us six wins, four draws and seven defeats with a goal difference of minus four. Those same fixtures last season brought us six wins, four draws and seven defeats with a goal difference of minus three.

So, not much change in terms of results but big changes at the club with an unexpected change of manager after ten games when Howe returned to Bournemouth and eventually being replaced by Sean Dyche.

Howe presided over what, for me, remain our best and worst performances of the season. The first game remains the best. It was Bolton at home and there were very big reasons for me wanting to see us win this one. We played so, so well on the day and fully merited the 2-0 win which I believed augured well for the future.

Martin Paterson got the opener, and I believe someone is still whinging about it being offside whilst ignoring the position of Martin Petrov. Charlie Austin got the second.

Typical of the inconsistency of Burnley, one week later we turned in what was surely our worst league display of the season at Huddersfield. I've discounted Swindon, as it was a cup game, and at least Cardiff were good against us. The performance at Huddersfield was awful and it was hard to believe it was the same team who had played so well against Bolton and then, for the first half at Middlesbrough.

That's how it's been. Inconsistent is a good way to describe it which is why we've hovered around those mid-table positions almost throughout. We did drop to 22nd after the home defeat to Brighton, but that was after just four games, and the win against Leeds took us as high as tenth.

Austin, who had scored on the opening day, scored the winner against Leeds and no report can ignore his contribution. All the squad have made positive contributions but you have to wonder just where we would be without Charlie's goals.

Only Eddie Ilderton not playing an advantage prevented him from getting his 20th league goal on Saturday but it is only a matter of time before he becomes the first Burnley player to score 20 league goals in a season since Andy Payton.

One real concern now is the current lack of wins. We might have only lost once in the last four games but we haven't won any of them and the win at Hull, back at the end of November, is the only time we've won in the last eight games.

That needs arresting quickly and we need to push on in the second half of the season if we are to get ourselves much higher in the table. That won't be easy. Traditionally we don't have a good second half of the season record.

The last time we did better in the second half of any season in terms of points was thirteen years ago when Stan Ternent's promotion team won 43 points in the first half of the season and 45 points in the second half of the season.

Overall, I have to say the half time report reads 'Could do better'.

Below are the points we've won in the first and second halves of each season since 2000. The first figure is the number of points won in the first half of the season, the second figure reflects the points won in the second half and the third is the total number of points won.

 

2000/01 38 34 72
2001/02 46 29 75
2002/03 32 23 55
2003/04 28 25 53
2004/05 33 27 60
2005/06 32 22 54
2006/07 36 21 57
2007/08 33 29 62
2008/09 40 36 76
2009/10 20 10 30
2010/11 35 33 68
2011/12 33 29 62
2012/13 30