SEASON 2010-2011 ended with a match that was a microcosm of Burnley’s campaign - a real curate’s egg, good in parts but ultimately not good enough.
Facing Cardiff’s Craig Bellamy at a lunchtime kick-off could have led to indigestion following a Herbie’s cornish pastie or Holland’s potato pie, but Burnley settled the stomach with an excellent first half display of flowing football.
And, as on so many occasions during the campaign, having seemingly done all the hard work, concentration lapsed at the death. Brian Jensen, who had previously dealt with all Cardiff could throw at him (admittedly it wasn’t much, which ought to worry their fans in the play-offs), was chipped by Bellamy and Burnley had to settle for a point.
It was a much better perfomance than the poor show - or no-show - at Leeds a week earlier, but, already out of the play-offs, on chairman Barry Kilby’s own criteria that has to be judged a failure.
There are some mitigation circumstances, of course, not least being deprived of Martin Paterson, Charlie Austin and Chris McCann’s presence for much of the season. McCann’s first half display against Cardiff especially indicated what has been missed, a sense of balance regained.
With few players out of contract in the summer (McCann the only crucial one) - will Eddie Howe have to wheel and deal before he can bring fresh blood in?