A massive decision for the future of the club
Feature by Andy Dean
Updated Wednesday, 29th December 2010
Just short of a year after his appointment, Brian Laws' sacking as Burnley manager comes as no real surprise.
Laws was asked to leave his position as manager with the side 9th in the Championship, 15 points adrift of league leaders QPR and two points off a play-off place.
The club's frustrating inability to string together a run of good results ultimately brought about the end for Laws, with good results often followed by shocking performances with our last two games the most obvious example of that.
Nobody expected us to bulldoze our way to the Championship title breaking records left, right and centre, but we simply haven't generated an ounce of momentum at any time.
QPR lost back-to-back games for the first time this season earlier in the month (Leeds and Watford), their response was to put four past Swansea without reply and then win 2-0 at Coventry. Would we have beaten Swansea and Coventry faced with the same circumstances? No, I don't think so either.
That's all in the past now, and as supporters we must look to the future.
In truth, there is more pressure on the board to get this appointment right than there was when they looked for a successor to Owen Coyle.
The likeable Scotsman ripped the heart and soul out of our club when he drove down the M61 to join Bolton, there was no manager in the game that could have stopped the bleeding and kept us up last season, I thought that then and I still think it now.
As the reality of being back in the Championship sank in it felt as though there was no unity at the club going into this season. Any manager would have found it difficult to help the squad recover from a relegation and losing a manager they were so close to, but it just felt as though Laws was not the choice of the fans, there were doubts about the players' happiness with him and hope more than expectation was the dominant feeling amongst Clarets fans.
Clubs like Middlesbrough, Leicester, Derby and Ipswich have all found that the Championship can become a very difficult league to get out of if you don't do it at the first time of asking. West Brom have shown the importance of 'bouncing back' straight away on more than one occasion.
If the new man fails to get us back into the Premier League this time it could be a long while until we travel to Old Trafford, The Emirates and Stamford Bridge for league games again.
There is still a fantastic opportunity to get automatic promotion, we're only eight points behind second-placed Cardiff and have yet to hit the high standards this squad (give or take a few personnel changes) reached 2 years ago.
The new man has got to be the right man. Laws faced an impossible task replacing Coyle, but whoever replaces Laws comes at an inviting time. Imagine a prospective manager looking at Burnley now: Two points outside the top six, one of the best squads in the league, a healthy bank balance and a set of fans clamouring for a manager to unite behind.
So who next? As much as his name is mud within a 30-mile radius of Turf Moor, we need to be looking for an Owen Coyle II - and in that mould I offer you two names - Derek McInnes and Lee Clark.