Clarets Corner by John Greenwood: League games that may seal survival

George Boyd celebrates his goal against Newcastle
George Boyd celebrates his goal against Newcastle

Christmas turned out to have more than its fair share of crackers for Burnley supporters - and the team must build on this form in January and February.

These are set to be crucial months for Burnley Football Club’s Premier League relegation battle, with a crucial quartet of matches, three of them at Turf Moor.

The - let’s face it, fantastic - form shown to get those away points at champions Manchester City and up at Newcastle’s St James’s Park, where George Boyd came good against the Magpies again - has to be taken into these clashes, and wins must be the aim, each fixture against fellow strugglers (an unusual term in this context, as in the Prem the gulf is really is quality of player you can afford to buy, rather than poor performances).

It all begins on Saturday when ‘Arry’s QPR rock up in the north with Charlie Austin (3pm KO) and just a week later Crystal Palace follow in the ‘Oops footsteps to Lancashire (Saturday, January 17, 3pm).

Then it is Burnley’s turn to head north on Saturday, January 31, to Sunderland (3pm) before reconvening back at Turf Moor on Sunday, February 8 (and a tiresome noon kick-off, though it’s better than the 4 o’clock) when West Brom, Tony Pulis newly installed, are the visitors.

In between, Burnley replay their third round FA Cup tie against Spurs at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, January 14 (8pm).

These are the league games that could seal survival.