IAN GREAVES promised his players would come out fighting after a 1-0 home defeat by Roses rivals Burnley dragged Town back into the top-flight relegation equation.
Town went into their 32nd league match of the season buoyed by a 3-1 win at struggling Nottingham Forest and knowing victory over the second-bottom Clarets would put valuable daylight between themselves and the two relegation places.
They’d won 3-2 at Turf Moor earlier in the campaign, Bobby Hoy scoring twice and Jimmy Lawson getting the other, and fans were hopeful of an eighth victory, and first double of the campaign.
A crowd of 18,793, well up on the previous two home games, turned out, with Keith Macklin and the Yorkshire TV cameras also in attendance, but home fans were frustrated.
Visiting boss Jimmy Adamson, who had gone into the season famously predicting youthful Burnley would be “the team of the seventies”, sprung a surprise by playing three up front: Paul Fletcher, his recent £60,000 signing from Bolton, Steve Kindon and Dave Thomas.
Martin Dobson, pictured, was handed a midfield foraging role, but it was the solidity of the defence which proved crucial, and it was Colin Waldron, the former Chelsea centre-back, who grabbed the key goal with a 28th-minute header.
Town turned the screw in the second half, with chances falling to Frank Worthington, Brian Mahoney and Steve Smith, but Burnley held firm to move to within six points (two for a win) of Greaves’ men, who were three places higher (Forest and West Ham were in between with Blackpool rock-bottom).
The News of the World reported: “Despite a rather hectic and at times nervous second half, Burnley were full value for their two points.
“They took the game to Town in those vital early stages, unnerved the home side and took a deserved lead which held firm until the final whistle.”
Adamson termed it a “memorable team effort” but Greaves insisted: “We did more than enough to win it.”
With away games against Chelsea and Crystal Palace coming up, Greaves added: “We have what it takes to win both those games.”