Cup exit could aid promotion quest

FA Cup
Andrew Frost January 6, 2014
I agree, promotion is the priority goal. If Burnley had ... 1 year ago

Andrew Frost isn’t too disappointed with Burnley’s defeat at the weekend.

Let me start by saying that I didn’t want us to lose to Southampton. Nor do I ever want Burnley to lose any game they play. But given the circumstances, the FA Cup defeat on Saturday didn’t hurt like most losses.

However irritating you may find the phrase ‘the league is our main concern’ – it’s probably extremely applicable to Burnley right now. Not since the early part of the millennium have I seen the Clarets near the summit of the Championship. While it’s impossible to say for sure that we will stay there, I’d argue a cup run this season would only act as a hindrance.

The squad that faced the Saints – barring Michael Duff and Ben Mee’s absences – was arguably as strong as it could have been. You’ve got to applaud the manager for attempting to win every game. But no matter how many times the players say ‘we’ve never been fitter’, fatigue is bound to catch up with the squad eventually.

For a team like Leicester, players can be rotated and rested. Unfortunately, Sean Dyche doesn’t have that luxury. Until reinforcements arrive, the squad has to be managed carefully. We have to be realistic here: would four more games, for example, be good for the players?

We are hardly going to win the competition.

In fact the best FA Cup memories I have with Burnley are associated with a win over lowly Canvey Island and a defeat to our arch rivals at Ewood. Personally I’m not in love with the famous old competition; I’d even argue that the League Cup is more exciting.

Am I beginning to sound like Paul Lambert here?

Had we won, I’d have obviously accepted that. But to be honest the defeat hasn’t really bothered me. Would any of us really have relished a cold Tuesday night third-round replay had it ended in a draw? Yes the Jay Rod returning to the Turf story would have been nice to see, but for £20+?

I’m not so sure.

Naturally I’m disappointed in defeat, but putting the result in context, it might just actually be a blessing in disguise.

Maybe I’m just a pessimist? Maybe I’m a realist?

I’ll let you decide that.

Do you agree with Andrew or would you have liked to have seen a cup run? Comment below.

  • Thomas Pickles

    Couldn’t give two hoots about the cup.

  • Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith

    Absolutely agree. Obviously always want Burnley to win, but wasn’t bothered at all about losing on Saturday, especially as we played so well second half. Perfect result for me, got some more confidence, a goal for Vokes after a spell without one, and we don’t have to faff around with more cup games clogging up the schedule.

  • Thomas Turner

    I could sense the worry in your ‘am I beginning to sound like Paul Lambert here?’ question!

    • James Birdin reply to Thomas Turner

      I think it is completely different to Paul Lambert. Villa have little else to concentrate on, they’re likely to finish mid table – there’s no prize for that. For sides at the bottom of the Premiership it is a distraction, they need to concentrate on staying up and sides at the top of the Championship need to focus on getting up. Everyone else should see it as an opportunity – particularly mid table Premiership sides.

      • Jamie Smith
        Jamie Smithin reply to James Bird

        Villa are 11th now but I’d say them and anyone below is still preoccupied with survival. Shame really as a club the size of Villa should be able to compete on multiple fronts, but Lambert obviously thought survival was more important, even though their chances of staying up are very good.

  • Jack

    “Fatigue is bound to catch up with the Burnley squad, eventually.”
    Really ? Do you have their stats ? Do you know how fit they are? The answer is, you don’t.

    • Andrewin reply to Jack

      So you really think a squad of about 14 can keep this form up until the end of the season? The logical answer: no. Even the best get tired.

  • Ightenclaret

    Why do people assume that a fit young set of men are likely to become fatigued by playing 2 matches a week come the end of the season? It makes absolutely no physiological sense! Ruling out injuries, regular exertion will only improve the fitness level of a young person and assuming they do not binge eat or drink and have regular pre and post-match physiotherapy, they will be stronger at the end of a season rather than at the beginning of it.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Ightenclaret

      It’s mental tiredness as much as physical. It’s a tough ask for someone to perform to these levels twice a week all season and if they lose form, there’s basically nobody to replace them. While they have thrived under that pressure so far, I just hope it lasts as it’s risky.

      • James Birdin reply to Jamie Smith

        I don’t really subscribe to the tiredness thing. Plenty of athletic sports require you to play more than twice a week. Examples being tennis, basketball, ice hockey where players can expect to play at least 3 times a week.

        • Jamie Smith
          Jamie Smithin reply to James Bird

          Well there’s a reason the top managers all rotate and if it isn’t fitness, what is it?

  • Ian

    I’m not sure how anyone can disagree with the statement in the article regarding fatigue. Even the best players in the world get fatigue. Don’t you think the top clubs would play their strongest side every week if they could? They don’t because it’s impossible to keep up performance over such a prolonged period of time.

    Playing so many games inevitably leads to fatigue, and fatigue can lead to injuries.

  • David Omy Ormerod

    Couldnt agree more

  • Donald Cooper

    I agree, promotion is the priority goal. If Burnley had a bigger squad or the finance to strengthen in the transfer window, then concurrent cup and league campaigns would be feasible. Going out of the cup to me is preferable to possibly losing out on promotion, and the greater rewards this would achieve.

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