AUDIO: Eddie Howe looking to put things right against Coventry
CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is delighted to have the opportunity to put right the wrongs of Saturday tomorrow.
Burnley suffered a first defeat in seven league games, going down 3-0 at home to Millwall as their play-off hopes took a jolt.
But with another home game against Coventry to come tomorrow, Howe is eager to put the pressure back on the top six in one of two games in hand.
Howe said: “It was a disappointing one for us. I don’t think we performed at all how we can. I thought we were below par.
“Credit to Millwall because I thought they defended very well and made it difficult, got bodies behind the ball and played quite deep.
“Their gameplan worked well and we just lacked our usual spark.
“We were poor in possession, which is usually our strength, but we gave the ball away and probably played a little direct as well, which surprised me.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but the good thing is we’ve got a game on Tuesday to bounce back in.
“We’ve got to deal with setbacks.
“We’ll look to bounce back and try to come here and put a real performance on and try to play with the intensity that we have done, because I thought that was missing.
“The league table could look very different if we get the results we want in those two games in hand.
“They’re going to be important games for us and we need to attack it right and bounce back.
“It’s an opportunity to put it right in front of our own fans.”
As it was, draws for Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Cardiff, and a loss for Swansea meant results went well for Burnley, but that made it all the more frustrating for Howe: “That makes it probably even more frustrating because you think what if we’d have carried on playing like we have been and really performed. But we didn’t and there’s no excuses.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves and look to bounce back in another tough game on Tuesday, but an opportunity to put it right in front of our own fans.
“That’s the beauty of football, one minute you’re up the next minute you’re down.
“We’ve got to try to bounce back and try to be positive because we’re still in a good position.”
And he looked back at a strange game, in which Burnley had the upper hand until conceding two sloppy goals from corners: “We were chasing the game towards the end and leaving spaces and they hit us on the counter for the third, but the two set plays are disappointing and it’s back to the training ground and hard work to try to put that right.
“We have to look at ourselves and our performance.
“I don’t think there are any excuses. We were below par. In the first I thought Millwall were the better side.
“Despite an improved beginning to the second half we then dropped away again.
“Sometimes you learn more from a defeat than you do from winning, and I think we learned a lot.”
Asked whether expectation weighed on the players, Howe replied: “I’d be surprised with the experience we’ve got in the squad if that was an issue.
“There’s always pressure at this stage of the season, something we need to handle and we need to adapt to.
“Of course our expectations are high, but that’s part of the life of a footballer. We need to take that pressure on the chin and try to let it get the best from us.”