Charlie Austin proves he is fox in the box

CELEBRATION: Charlie Austin celebrates his winner with Jay Rodriguez
CELEBRATION: Charlie Austin celebrates his winner with Jay Rodriguez
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IN a new feature, scout Phil Smith is compiling tactical reports on Burnley’s games, and here is his first offering from the 2-1 win at Pride Park on Saturday.

The system utilised by Burnley was aggressive 4-4-2, always looking to provide a high tempo. Given the playing staff available, this was always likely to be the case.

Trippier and Easton were afforded a greater degree of freedom.

However, space in the centre was highly condensed and, as a result, playing the ball to the midfielders involved an increased risk of surrendering possession.

When the team lost possession Wallace made a conscious effort to close in midfield. Treacy and Easton are unable to recover their position quickly. It was evident that Nigel Clough had done his homework. In the three previous Npower Championship fixtures the opposition had enjoyed an average of eight shots on our goal. Derby County had 17.

Treacy will need to develop greater defensive transition, particularly when Burnley adopt a 4-4-2 system. Otherwise, Marney or McCann will be left as the only barriers to the offensive transition of the opposition.

The understanding between Rodriguez and Austin grows on a weekly basis, with fast and aggressive decoy runs from the pair. The movement of Rodriguez, operating slightly behind Austin, was unpredictable.

Frank Fielding is an inconsistent goalkeeper. There will often be second balls from shots and/or crosses. Austin was alert to such an opportunity - pure instinct, he is a true “fox in the box.”

In order to increase our attacking potency in this fixture I believe Wallace should have been instructed to limit the frequency in which he opened himself up wide right. Act as a third midfielder between the lines. The threat of him receiving the ball, and then penetrating the defensive line, would have resulted in a 2v1 mismatch in Derby’s favour in central areas. Wallace would have been nullified in this fixture. Strange Ssuggestion? Not in the slightest.

Prior to this fixture, three out of four goals conceded by Derby County had come from attacks down the left side of their defence.

Trippier is leading the way in terms of assists for Burnley.

The increased attention afforded to Wallace would have generated space for Trippier to move into and whip a cross into the danger zone. (See Diagram).