She’s gargling, but not actually singing...

THE fat lady is warming up her vocal chords and has gargled a little, but she hasn’t sung yet.

After a horrible run which stretched to the Forest game, although that brought bad luck rather than bad form, Burnley have won twice in a week to stick a foot in the play-offs door, although their fate isn’t in their own hands.

If Saturday’s victory over Swansea wasn’t as convincing as it might have looked - remember those early first half moments when the woodwork saved Burnley’s blushes more than once? - it was more than welcome.

Seeing of Middlesboro on Tuesday night meant the Clarets are bottom of three teams on 63 points, two adrift of Leeds United, who hold the only play-off place that is realistically still up for grabs.

Burnley have Leeds to play, at Elland Road on Saturday, April 30 (12.45) - but before that there is Easter to get through.

Both matches, at Derby on Saturday and at home to Portsmouth on Easter Monday are winnable, but Burnley fans aren’t taking anything for granted this season.

These are precisely the sort of banana skins they have come a cropper on throughout the season, saving their better performances for top half teams, which at least might bode well for Cardiff’s visit on the final day of the regular season - Cardiff are still chasing the second automatic promotion spot.

l SATURDAY’S mood was cheerful, never more so than when Graham Alexander, who we used to hate the very sight of when he wore Preston’s white (for the damage he always seemed to do for us), made his 1,000th senior appearance, only the second outfield player to do so after Rochdale’s Tony Ford.

Todmorden journalist and Rochdale supporter Mark Hodkinson joked that Dale’s manager of that time, Steve Parkin, only seemed to favour players who could remember the High Chapparal being on television.

It’s a safe bet that Grezza can remember Sunday afternoon repeats of the American television western.

All speak of him as a model pro and you never read a bad word about the club captain, who has become a Burnley legend as well as a Preston one, not least for the way he was a galvanising force gaining promotion to the Premiership, which provided a pinnacle for his playing career, two years ago.

Although more often appearing as sub these days, including Saturday when he nevertheless almost got his name on the scoresheet with a last-minute free kick, Grezza has looked after himself, watched his diet carefully and enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as the result.

He is the best role model for young players and may yet add to his 150 plus Clarets appearances.

There’s still work to do.