Clarke Carlisle hails unbreakable spirit at Burnley FC

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CLARKE Carlisle hailed Burnley's resilience after his injury time header snatched a point at Portman Road.

The strapping centre back produced a stunning header from Graham Alexander's late corner, just moments after David Norris had put the hosts ahead.

The Clarets were down to 10 men for the final 12 minutes after David Edgar's second yellow card, and Carlisle felt the response to both body blows summed up the spirit in the dressing room: "It's what this group of lads is all about.

"No matter what goes on outside the four stands of Turf Moor, within those stands we have a great belief and a great togetherness and we'll come out and perform to the best of our ability week in week out.

"So when we did go down to 10 men and then a goal down, we still had it within our ranks to get back.

"Especially after we went one down, we controlled the game from thereon in and still had two or three good chances."

The goal was Burnley's first from a corner since the run-in to the play-offs 15 months ago, and Carlisle was delighted to break that nagging statistic: "The gaffer's waxing lyrical about it. It's about time we put that one to bed.

"But the position I was in, the ball's behind me so you just try to get some contact on it and guide it towards the goal."

Carlisle was back in the side for Michael Duff, who suffered a calf injury in the opening day win over Nottingham Forest, and he has taken his chance with both hands: "It's a shame that it's at my colleague's misfortune because he'd done everything right in the entirity of pre-season, and through no fault of his own he's found an injury.

"But that's where I have to seize my opportunity.

"I thought that I put in good two good performances and a well overdue goal is just the cherry on the cake."

Another unfortunate Clarets defender was David Edgar, who was handed his first start since February and was harshly dismissed for two bookable offences: "As a defender I'm going to say this, because obviously he's my team-mate, but I think he just stood there.

"He can't get out of the way, he didn't have time to move."

A point away from home was a welcome one, however, after the woes of last season on the road, where only four were gleaned in the Premier League.

But Carlisle has already put that to the back of his mind: "Last season is its own entity. You can put it away.

"The Premier League season has completely different expectations and aspirations of us as a squad and there were different players going into it.

"We'd never been there before, there was a slight naivety about the whole season.

"This is different. We know the Championship, we know it well, we know the teams are strong here and it's going to be a fight, nail and tooth, to the bitter end, but we're ready for it.

"I think this has shown that, to a man, we're very capable of coming to places like Portman Road and pulling results out of the bag."

Carlisle had double cause to celebrate as the club where he started his career - Blackpool - created history by winning their first game in the Premier League at Wigan: "It's outstanding. I couldn't wish anything more for Ian Holloway. It's no more than the man deserves and I hope he wins 4-0 every week. It's great to see.

"We witnessed it ourselves last year, when everyone outside your club speaks derogatorily about you and puts you down it only serves to inspire you. It really does give you a hunger to prove everyone wrong.

But they're playing on averages. When you go off averages and squad costs and squad sizes you can't cater for the heart of the individual.

Ian Holloway's heart and the heart of men he has in that squad is massive. They'll go and stick it down a few people's throats this season."