THE Clarets face their biggest test of pre-season yet after going down 2-0 to Rochdale at the break.
It will be a big test of character for Eddie Howe's men in the second 45 minutes as their preparations for the new season come to a close.
Dale new boy Dele Adebola opened the scoring at Spotland, less than two hours after signing for the club, as the veteran striker swept the ball past Lee Grant from close range after Ashley Grimes and full-back Kevin McIntyre had cleverly manipulated space down the left.
Danny Ings forced the first opportunity of the game, drilling the ball against Ryan Edwards from 20 yards out after a sudden burst of pace worked the space in midfield. Ings went close again just seconds after the home side took the lead, but a touch from goalkeeper Josh Lillis prevented the striker's clipped effort from looping in to the back of the net. Full credit to the keeper who reacted quickly to pounce at Ings's feet and narrow the angle.
The Clarets lacked the tempo and intensity shown in the 4-0 win over League Two Cheltenham on Saturday, proving uneconomical in possession and failing to force the hosts on the back foot.
Dale continued to press, finding joy down their left hand side, and skipper Peter Cavanagh went close to doubling the advantage as he bent an effort over Grant's bar, with the goalkeeper scrambling to cover.
Ross Wallace dragged a shot wide once Edwards cleared unconvincingly, while Sam Vokes drilled wide of the post with Lillis troubled. Edwards almost rectified his mistake, but failed to find the target from Cavanagh's corner when unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.
But moments later the Clarets were punished for a lack of concentration when Cavanagh's piercing pass freed George Donnelly down the left and, despite Michael Duff's best efforts, the midfielder slid the ball across the face of goal for Grimes to apply the vital touch at the back post.
Vokes fired wide on the volley and Lillis produced a superb reaction save to deny Martin Paterson in the closing stages but the Clarets have it all to do in the second half.