Brighton in many ways mirror Sean Dyche’s Clarets team of last season, with effort and endeavour enabling them to perform at a level that perhaps belies the technical ability of the majority of their squad.
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Their thuggish approach to defending, which began during Gus Poyet’s tenure, is still being largely tolerated by referees even in the top flight, and doesn’t make their successful quest for safety any more likeable. I realise, writing that, that Ashley Barnes plays week in, week out for my team, by the way.
To say that chances were few and far between would be a massive understatement; a momentous goalmouth scramble was the closest Burnley came to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half, and barring a couple of hopeful penalty appeals and a Johann Gudmundsson free-kick, we failed to apply any real sense of pressure in the Seagulls’ final third.
The visitors, deploying Leonardo Ulloa as opposed to top scorer Glenn Murray as their lone striker, also offered little in the way of attacking intent, and those in the lower tiers at Turf Moor are likely to have sore necks in the morning – footballing quality was in short supply.
That said, this fixture does come at the tail end of what has been a gruelling campaign for both sides, and one that the two sets of supporters could probably hardly have envisaged.
The Clarets once again ground out what they needed at the very least to practically ensure a first tilt at European football in over half a century.
Buoyant home fans were not jubilant because of the turgid 90 minutes they’d witnessed, far from it.
But I’d like to think that Burnley fans on the whole can recognise the incredible efforts of their team over the course of a truly monumental season; the joyous reaction at the game’s end was due to that.
Clarets fans have been conditioned to expect the worst over several painful years, but with European qualification now within touching distance, I’ll gladly take another two aesthetically woeful showings to get us officially over the line.