TUESDAY night finally saw Burnley’s season bite the dust with the defeat at Nottingham Forest.
It was always going to be tough when Burnley had to play for an hour with ten men after midfielder Marvin Bartley was sent off, and in the final quarter of the game Forest took advantage to bolster their own play-off chances while Burnley’s finally faded away.
It’s still mathematically possible, but little over the last two games has indicated it is likely. It’s still too early for me to want to dissect the season, but looking forward Eddie Howe needs to use the remaining games to experiment where necessary and crucially identify the areas where the Clarets have been lacking this time out.
The important decisions will be made with who stays and who goes in the summer, and that might include those who are still in contract.
There have been a number of under-achievers and they can’t be allowed to carry on in that vein.
Howe will hopefully have players returning from long term injury - there is no doubt this has had a detrimental effect on Burnley’s season, be it under Brian Laws or Eddie, and there should be some money in the kitty for new signings.
It may be important to go for quality rather than quantity here. Burnley have long experience of the Championship and there are a lot of teams with not much to separate them.
In 2009 belief had got the team performing at their best at the right time, as Owen Coyle got the side playing at its best going into the season’s run-in.
A bit of quality could make it much easier. It will cost, but Burnley still have some Premiership money to go at.
Choosing wisely then becomes the key.