Lancashire Telegraph's Burnley reporter on what Bolton can expect this weekend
Lancashire Telegraph’s Suzanne Geldard speaks to bwfc.co.uk about this weekend’s opponents, Burnley.
bwfc.co.uk: How would you summarise Burnley’s season so far?
SG: I think it’s fair to say the season is going to plan. Unlike last time, when there was an outside expectation that Burnley would fall away from their lofty position, this season it was widely anticipated they would be in the mix for a Premier League return. But Burnley prefer to keep their focus in-house and set their own agenda and expectations rather than worry about external perception, and it’s a policy that is working well for them as they go into this afternoon’s game in second place.
bwfc.co.uk: How important has the summer acquisition of Andre Gray been to Burnley so far this season?
SG: He has a track record for scoring wherever he’s been, whatever the level. The £6million price tag might have been a burden to some, but he seems to thrive on the expectation, such is his confidence. And that’s why, when things are not going for him in front of goal, he just keeps going, looking for the next chance. He doesn’t shy away.
bwfc.co.uk: Who are the other key performers in the Burnley squad?
SG: Up until Tuesday night Michael Keane was a Championship ever present and but for precaution over a head injury sustained last weekend he would have kept his place. Since moving from left back to centre half Ben Mee has been a revelation and has to be a contender for player of the season. Together they are a big reason behind Burnley’s tally of 14 clean sheets to date. Sam Vokes has really come into form in recent weeks. The striker suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury before the end of their promotion season but the Wales international is back to full fitness and harassing Championship defences in an impressive and fruitful partnership with Gray.
bwfc.co.uk: What would constitute as the minimum requirement for the Clarets come May?
SG: Promotion. Possibly at the start of the season a top six finish would have sufficed, but as it’s coming to the crunch, with Burnley breaking into the top two last weekend and staying there with a midweek win over Nottingham Forest, anything less than another top two finish would now be a disappointment. Ideally the plan would be to go one better than last time and win the Championship title.
bwfc.co.uk: And finally, a prediction?
SG: I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same scoreline as earlier in the season, 2-0 Burnley. The Clarets have been hard to break down and hard to beat, and along with Fulham are the Championship top scorers with 51.
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