Play offs or survival

Last updated : 09 December 2003 By Tony Scholes

It is though not an opinion shared by manager Stan Ternent who was asked that very question this week following our win over 3rd place Sheffield United. Stan spelled it out once and for all that we are not strong enough to get there.

"The sides at the top of the league have bigger squads so injuries and suspensions don’t effect them as much as it does us because my squad isn’t big enough. There’s not an outstanding side in the division in my view, not like Manchester City were or Sunderland were when Reidy was manager but such as West Brom are strong and have strong squads," said Stan.

"I’ll be happy if we are out of the bottom three never mind the play offs, that’s a load of crap all of that. Let’s be realistic about it, I know the situation here at Burnley and the situation is not, I repeat not, good from the manager’s point of view.

"Nobody twists my arm up my back to do the job but this talk about play offs and all of that is just pie in the sky so don’t kid yourself and don’t be under any illusions.

"This squad is not strong enough in my view number wise to be in the play offs unless I get no injuries, no suspensions and no loss of form and that is not going to happen. If I can get my best team out all the time then we are OK and then if my best team plays to its capabilities all the time.

"But that isn’t going to happen so then you need to take maybe three players off which I am allowed to do and put three other players on. This week I had Dean West, Paul Weller (just returning from injury), Joel Pilkington and Matt O’Neill on the line. That’s it and that’s the fact of football life at Burnley at the moment.

"We are not crying about it, we are just getting on with it. I don’t want to dampen the supporters’ enthusiasm but I don’t want them to be under any illusion of where we are up to.

"The situation is the situation and as far as I am concerned if I can keep Burnley in the First Division this year, maybe a bit more than that, then we are being realistic."