Friday, 14 February 2014

Match preview: No Nay Never talks promotion with Cherry Chimes

Match Preview
AFCB v Burnley FC
Blogger Interview: No Nay Never

Cherry Chimes is back speaking with Jamie Smith who is the editor for the very well known No Nay Never Burnley FC blog, he is probably starting to getting a bit nervous with the strong Claret's run continuing, so let's see how he thinks his team is going to do in the run in.

CC: Burnley have continued to defy the odds by staying in the race for promotion, but can you really get a top two finish?

NNN: We're looking good right now but our squad is still quite thin so injuries to key players could cause issues. But we have most of our rivals to come to Turf Moor and we're unbeaten at home in nearly a year so we have a chance. A good chance? Maybe.

CC: If you end up in the play-offs which of the chasing teams do you think would give Burnley the most trouble?

NNN: Losing to Blackburn Rovers in the play-offs is the worst possible result. But we're so hard to beat we'd fancy ourselves against anyone, I'd say. Forest probably have the strongest team of the chasers (assuming QPR get second if we miss out), but Billy Davies has a dreadful play-off record.

CC: The recent draw at QPR was an amazing match, but should you have won it?

NNN: Probably. Danny Ings had a massive chance at 3-2 and if he scores that we win the game, but he's been so brilliant we can't be too critical over it. Their last goal was soft as well. That said, we were quite poor in the first half so did brilliantly to get back into it.

CC: Why do you think the wins have started to slow of late?

NNN: I personally don't think Sean Dyche has been bold enough at times and we've drawn against teams that were there for the taking if we'd been a bit more proactive and forced the issue. But that's a minor criticism, he's been terrific overall this season. We've won our last two and we're unbeaten since December so it's not like our form is bad.

CC: Did the small amount of transfer business at Burnley this January disappointing or was Ashley Barnes all you needed?

NNN: Keeping hold of players is always the main thing for us and we needed a third striker so Barnes was absolutely key. All squads can be improved so I'd have liked to have seen us add another central midfielder and maybe a fast attacker too, but that's being greedy really.

CC: How relieved were you to keep your star players in January?

NNN: Very. But we made it absolutely clear Ings was never for sale, so it would have taken a truly ludicrous offer for us to sell. Kieran Trippier is another we needed to keep, but I don't know if there were any clubs in for either of them in the end.

CC: Do you think Sean Dyche would be tempted to move on in the next 12 months if a big club comes in for him or are you not getting worried every time a Premiership club sacks their manager?

NNN: I'm only 25 but I've seen enough managers come and go not to be worried about it. Nobody is bigger than the club, as Owen Coyle found out when his big move to Bolton backfired. I'm confident Dyche would stay unless he got an offer he really couldn't turn down. But I also know our current chief exec is big on succession planning and has a file on managers, so if and when Dyche does move on we shouldn't get a panicked appointment like Brian Laws.

CC: Do you think Danny Ings can break into the full England team in the next year, even if he is still playing in the Championship?

NNN: Very, very tough as a Championship player but Roy Hodgson has shown willingness to pick players from unfashionable teams so you never know. England lack quality up front so Ings would make a case for himself if he ends up with 35+ goals, which he's on track for. It's more likely he leaves us in the summer and then England will follow assuming he makes the step up well. He certainly has the ability to be an England international in the future and it would be brilliant to see a Danny Ings/Jay Rodriguez strikeforce for England.

CC: What have you made of AFC Bournemouth this season and the game they played at Turf Moor?

NNN: Not seen much of you to be honest, but we didn't play well when you came to the Turf. We all know Eddie Howe isn't big on defending so it's no surprise you've taken some beatings, but you look like you'll be safe and he's doing a tremendous job overall.

CC: Bournemouth must be one of the longest away trips for Burnley so do you expect to bring many travelling fans?

NNN: Believe we've sold over 1,000 tickets and we've already taken some really big followings this season. The London Clarets will be out in force. However many there are, they will be loud.

CC: There are a lot of connections between Burnley players, Eddie Howe, Jason Tindall do you think that makes it any harder for the teams when they play each other?

NNN: Not sure really. Obviously a lot of the current Burnley team were Howe's signings and players like Ings and Sam Vokes are going back to their old club, so it's an unusual one all round. But we should be professional enough to put all that to one side

CC: If you had a message to give to Eddie Howe what would it be?

NNN: I always liked Howe and firmly believe he would have been a success at Burnley if he'd stuck at it, although it was tough with an ever-shrinking budget. But family has to come first and I understand why he went home. However, I don't think he did himself any favours with his Guardian interview and he should accept some blame for it not working out at Burnley. That said, we're better off without him so there's certainly no hard feelings from me.

CC: Another set of great answers from Jamie and the No Nay Never blog. I am glad to see that local rivalries are still a big priority and the thought of Blackburn Rovers in the play-offs is something to be avoided at all costs. I have my fingers crossed that the storms are not too bad this Friday and Saturday and that all those Burnley fans travel down safely, especially those on the West railway lines trying to get down. While Burnley might not have been at their best against AFCB at Turf Moor, I also feel that the Cherries have more to offer at home than we have seen of late so it should be a cracking game and let the best team on the day come out on top. 

Make sure you drop in on the No Nay Never blog to see what has been written from a Burnley point of view in the build up to the game.

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