Defending deep such a let down

It hurts. Billy Davies celebrating on Easter Monday
It hurts. Billy Davies celebrating on Easter Monday

Images like the one to the right are what you get if you try to defend deep for too long when it’s not your forte.

Burnley supporters had to deal with the image of a Billy Davies gurning in celebratory ecstasy after his Nottingham Forest side had gained a last-kick equaliser against the Clarets on Easter Monday, writes John Greenwood.

It should have been a happier Easter, Burnley having pulled almost the same trick against Watford to take a point on Good Friday, and taking another against a form side like Forest wasn’t a disaster.

But the method by which two were lost rankles as fans were left pondering why, a goal up with quarter of an hour to play, the chosen tactic was to sit back and try and defend ultra deep, made all the more difficult by Davies’s introduction of the, shall we say, “robust” Darius Henderson.

Henderson’s job is to put himself about if the ref will let him, and Nigel Miller did.

That made it all the more baffling that, with the Forest striker creating space for his team-mates, the policy seemed to be to put every claret shirted man no further forward than the penalty area edge.

Planned on this occasion or not, we’ve often seen it before under Stan and Steve in particular and it’s just not the Burnley way. In recent years we’ve never had defenders able to withstand the sort of onslaught it invites.

Surely it is easier to defend by passing the ball in the other team’s half of the pitch?

It makes beating Bristol City on Saturday a “must”.