Burnley’s Duff will be welcome addition to squad

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SCOUT Phil Smith looks back on the defeat at Bristol City, and plots the way ahead against next opponents Leeds United

The defeat at Ashton gate last weekend has seen Burnley plummet to 19th place in the Championship.

The word relegation has been thrown about by many this week, but for me, there is absolutely no danger of slipping down into League One.

Without wishing to sound like a broken record, cease to play 4-4-2 and the results will begin to improve.

The worrying issue for myself is the inability to seize the ascendency after snatching a foothold in the game.

Burnley failed to push on and up the tempo against both Leicester City and Bristol City last week, despite Ross Wallace tipping the momentum in our favour.

Derek McInnes had evidently done his homework prior to our meeting.

As I suggested, the Robins looked to exploit Burnley on the break.

The pace of Albert Adomah tore our defence apart far too often. The 4-4-2 formation leaves us exposed with both a high and deep defensive line.

The former allows ourselves to pin the opposition in their own half.

However, it leaves us criminally exposed to the threat of a counter attack, as emphasised by Bristol City last weekend.

Leeds United will look to exploit this tactic by releasing Bechio and McCormack into the space behind our defensive line. Easton and Trippier can reduce the threat by closing inside.

However this will create space for Pugh and Snodgrass in the channels.

Is the solution to adopt a deep defensive line? No!

The midfield is required to cover more ground in the game.

Chris McCann and Marvin Bartley will be left as the only barrier to the offensive transition of the opposition.

Michael Duff featured for the reserves on Tuesday night and must come back into the fold against Leeds United.

His ability to read the game will aid the defensive posture.

Wes Fletcher weighed in with a hat-trick against Central League opponents Morecambe, and, although not ready to enter the first team fold at present, I certainly envisage him hammering on the manager’s door in the near future.

I will discuss our upcoming fixture in more detail next week.

Given the sad news received on Tuesday, the game seems trivial and irrelevant at the present time.

I was saddened to hear news of the death of former captain and manager Jimmy Adamson.

I am only 23 and thus never had the pleasure of seeing him play.

However, I am more than aware of the significance he holds in the history of Burnley Football Club.

As captain of the League winning side in 1960 (pictured), he is sure to be forever remembered by the supporters of this magnificent football club.

In the case of Jimmy, the term “legend” is fully deserved.