Date: 30th March 2006 at 11:08am
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With just six games to go until the end of the season Wednesday will be desperate to pick up points at Hillsborough, starting this Saturday against Burnley.

We ask Vital Burnley editor Matthew the questions this week…


1) You’ve slipped down the table recently, are in danger of relegation?

Relegation has been in danger of becoming an issue in the last few weeks,
as we have shot down the table in 2006. We were fifth at Christmas. I think
the turning point was the defeat to Wednesday at Turf Moor on NYE. I
wouldn’t say that we were in danger of relegation this season. The win
against Norwich will hopefully put some confidence back into the side, and
the signings of Gray, Mahon, Bardsley and the contract of Steve Cotterill
being extended have given us a much needed boost. We still have yourselves,
Hull and Millwall to play away from home, so if we pick up points in those
games, we should be fine.

2) You’ve signed a few players recently – who are they?

The signings will give us a much needed boost. Gray is proven at this
level, and his goal against Norwich showed his ability. He will score goals,
something we lacked after the Akinbiyi sale. He seems to have come in at the
right time. Mahon will also be a quality player. His goal for Wigan at Villa
earlier in the season shows how much quality he has, and at this level, he
will be a good addition to our squad. Bardsley is likely to go on to great
things, and its great that he can learn something here. His assist for
Branch on Friday was inch perfect, and he will provide us with fresh impetus
down the right hand flank.

3) You recent sold Akibiyi to our neighbours – good or bad deal?

I think the Ade deal was a good one. To sell a player for three times
what we paid for him, less than a year later represents good business.
Akinbiyi is a quality player, but he hadn’t scored as many from December
until he eventually left. I hope he succeeds at Sheff Utd though, because he
deserves it after the criticism he received at Leicester. The money provided
us with funds for Gray and Mahon, and the fee believed to be £1.75 million
represents a great deal for a 31-year-old.

4) You’ve only won three away games all season, can you point your finger at the reason why?

I can’t explain the away form. When you consider two of those wins were
at Wolves and Leicester, it is even more baffling. We have a small squad, so
we cannot rotate as much as some of the bigger sides in the division can.
Our home form was great up until the turn of the year though, and we need to
get back to that.

5) Are you plased that Steve Cotterill has pledged his future to the club?

I don’t think his loyalty was ever in doubt. He has done a brilliant job
at Burnley, working with such a small squad, but he now has cash to spend
following the Akinbiyi sale, and it’s the first real chance he has had to go
out and do that. It says a lot about the job he has done for us that a club
the size of Leicester was hoping to install him.

6) Who are your danger men?

After Friday, you’ve got to say Andy Gray. He looks a very accomplished
striker, and just needs game. Ricketts also has a point to prove. He scored
in his first two games for us, but hasn’t since, and he might be looking to
earn a longer deal. McCann has come on leaps and bounds since he broke into
the team, and was brilliant against Norwich.

7) If you could take one player from Wednesday to Burnley who would it be and why?

Well, you have Carson on loan at the moment. He is a quality keeper, and
would walk into most Premiership teams. Chris Brunt is a player we need to
look out for. He has real quality on the ball, and is strong with the ball
25 yards out. His goals ratio this season has been impressive, and no doubt
he will hit a few on Saturday, hopefully off target though, haha.

8) If you could send one Burnley player to Hillsborough who would it be and why?

I would have said Gifton-Noel Williams, but he’s just gone on loan to
Brighton. I think he is a decent player, but it just doesn’t seem to have
worked out for him up here.

9) What’s your most memorable Wednesday V Burnley match?

Possibly the one on New Year’s Eve. I think that was a real turning point
for us, and expected three points going into the near the playoffs. Its more
of a what could have been game, as a win there would have seen us kick on,
and start the new year with confidence, and maybe continue the playoff push,
but it wasn’t to be.

10) Do you think the Owls have enough about them to stay up this season?

I think they do yes. I think Crewe have too much to do, and Brighton
might join them. That would make it between Wednesday and Millwall, but
there is already the five point cushion. If we beat Southampton tonight, we
would be pretty much safe, and they will be dragged into it, and their form
isn’t too great. I just think you have enough in the locker, and with the
signing of Carson, a quality keeper who can be the difference between wins
and losses.

11) What do you think the score will be?

Umm.. tough one. I think that we need to repay the New Year’s Eve game,
and after the Norwich game, and hopefully the win against the Saints, we
would have the confidence back. The new signings will be going all out to
prove themselves, and if we play with two up top, I can see us getting
something. 2-1 the Clarets!


CHEERS Matthew! Best of luck with the site and best of luck for the rest of the season (after Saturday of course!)