Date: 15th April 2016 at 11:12am
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After the Leeds defeat on Tuesday night, Blues` slight hopes of a top six finish have all but gone. We`ve been here before, of course. After defeats to Charlton and Brighton, we apparently had nothing to play for and then a win at Reading changed the mind-set. But nine points in five games is a massive haul to claw back so Blues are now playing for pride.

CURRENT FORM

Blues` current form reads four wins in fourteen games. That stat alone signified why our play-off hopes have evaporated. But with three home games remaining, it`s imperative to send the fans off to their sun beds in a buoyant mood.

Games do not come much tougher than a Burnley side sitting pretty at the summit of the Championship for the majority of the season. But if Brighton beat Fulham in the Friday evening fixture, the Clarets could be going in to the game at St. Andrew`s in third place – essentially making it a must win.

As it happens, Burnley are unbeaten in 18 league games with their last defeat coming on boxing day at the hands of Hull City. Saying they will be a tough nut to crack is understatement of the year.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM BURNLEY

Sean Dyche has a well drilled side capable of beating anyone. From attack to defence, the spine of their team carries Premier League experience. In Andre Gray, Burnley boast the most sought after striker outside the top flight. He has bagged 21 goals this season. Add that to Sam Vokes` 14 and you`ve got a prolific strike force.

Even in midfield, they have got goals. Scott Arfield has chipped in with a decent return of eight and six assists.

If Blues are not at full pelt, it could be a drubbing.

AN EYE ON NEXT SEASON?

Gary Rowett`s press conference was angled towards ‘an eye on next season`. The Blues manager admits the absence of Paul Robinson and Will Buckley is due to his vision for the next campaign. To me, that suggests he has no intention of signing Buckley on a permanent basis – which indicates the pointlessness of bringing him in on loan in the first place.

As for Robbo, he will be offered a new one year deal but used as back-up. Rowett`s stance is to see who else can slot in at the back. Ryan Shotton is making his own case for a permanent move.

THOUGHTS FROM VITAL BURNLEY

Manager Sean Dyche has been previewing this weekend’s game against Birmingham City and confirmed that both Sam Vokes and David Jones will have to be assessed late on before a decision is made on whether they come into contention for the match.

Vokes is the more doubtful of the two, with the gaffer saying he’s ‘touch and go’ for the game following the groin strain that caused his substitution in the midweek victory over Leeds United at Turf Moor, but Jones is a doubt, although less so, having been struck with an illness on Tuesday. (Article via burnley.vitalfootball.co.uk)

TWEETS

@wilfordwm – Suspect Jon Toral may well be back in @BCFC starting line-up against Burnley tomorrow. Gary Rowett keen to pick close to best possible team.

@TheSpecialRon – Blues’ season is over. Let’s pack the ground v Burnley and celebrate that lot going down. No one leaves until you’ve danced on camera.

Article written by Rob Wildey – @robwildey123

 
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