Defensive and attacking set pieces have to improve
Credit Burnley for their excellent setting up and execution of their set pieces, from which they scored twice at corners, but Town have to be stronger – much stronger.
The marking and challenging of David Wagner’s players was brought into question every time Burnley got a free-kick, and Town had other scares which could easily have resulted in further goals against.
At the opposite end, Town’s set plays were disappointing – especially the corners – and perhaps some more creative thinking is needed.
Town miss Joel Lynch
The big central defender brings a stability which doesn’t seem to be replicated when he isn’t there at the heart of defence.
His height and physical presence are a boon at defensive set pieces (see previous) and he is also very comfortable on the ball.
It would be a massive tonic to the team and the fans if Lynch were ready to go in this coming Saturday’s West Yorkshire derby against Leeds United at Elland Road.
Joe Lolley has plenty of talent to work with
He may be very left-footed, but Lolley showed with the quality of his goal against Burnley what a talent he can be at Championship level.
It was his fourth goal of the season, and the 23-year-old certainly has the positive approach which could bring double figures.
He created the opening out of nothing and then, when he had weaved into the box, he showed the vision to pick an early shot and beat the surprised keeper Tom Heaton low to his right.
Another freshen-up could feature Rajiv van La Parra and Phil Billing
While it would be good to get Joel Lynch back into the defence, Phil Billing should be available against Leeds and maybe head coach David Wagner will decide to include latest signing Rajiv van La Parra.
Wagner – who defended making four changes to the starting line-up which had beaten Reading – felt it was too early to put van La Parra straight in against Burnley, but his pace and know how could be vital at Elland Road.
Billing was ill against Burnley – Elvis Manu was also recovering from a cold – but Emyr Huws was a welcome returnee so there is plenty of competition for midfield places.
Variation is not a bad thing
Town must have an alternative to simply playing out from the back when they are being put under the sort of pressure which Burnley mounted.
Sean Dyche praised his side for the way they hustled Town and made it difficult to get forward, but David Wagner’s side contributed to their own problems by passing the ball to people who were immediately under pressure.
There is nothing wrong with knocking the ball over the top and turning the opposition from time to time.
Not only does it immediately gain valuable territory, but it’s the element of surprise which might just provide an opening.
Hear Sean Dyche speak about the match below.