Dan Black's verdict as Sunderland stalemate allows record-breaking ex-Reading boss Steve Coppell to breathe a little easier
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The ex-Royals boss revealed that he has a drink to toast the club's milestone every season as soon as surpassing it becomes a mathematical impossibility for anybody chasing it.
Burnley are still on course to prove themselves as one of the best outfits to ever grace the game at this level, but they'll need a faultless finish to the campaign if they're to eclipse the 106-point marker set in 2005-06.
The league leaders can afford one more slip up in their final eight games - as long as it isn't a defeat - in order to match Reading's return, though they have it all to do when factoring in their Easter schedule.
"I don't wish ill on any other manager but in this particular circumstance, I'm very much aware they are closing in and at the moment, they look to be a very, very good side.
"I have a drink every year when the chasing teams can't reach our total but I'm afraid this year the drink is getting later and later. I've usually had it by now!
"For this year, I think it's going to be close. I can only hope they might get bored before the end and play a few youngsters. If it's broken....it's there to be broken, it's a target."
Becoming the division's best ever force statistically is, understandably, right at the back of manager Vincent Kompany's mind at this moment in time.
The 36-year-old ex-Belgium international has been so fixated on ensuring that his players continue to evolve and improve on a personal and collective level that he'd missed the switch to British Summer Time.
And that, having operated on a different timescale for five days because of his obsessive and driven nature, offers quite a reasoned explanation as to why the Manchester City legend hasn't had the opportunity to pause for a moment, take a breath and analyse the various permutations.
Promotion for his table toppers is still a possibility at the Riverside on Good Friday, but they still need a few things to go there way on Saturday afternoon for it to happen with Boro, Luton Town and Blackburn Rovers all in action.
He said: "You’ll laugh at this but you’re in a bubble when you’re a coach. The hours changed apparently at the weekend on Sunday and I found out on Friday!
“I’m saying this not to say that I’m not aware or making an effort but it’s truly what happens. You try and focus on what brings you an advantage for the next game, what gives you a chance for next season and that’s the thinking.
"Everything else with mathematics, I know that our team when we’re at our best, we’ve proven that we can win games, whether it’s five in a row, six in a row, eight in a row, we’ve proven it and we shouldn't doubt it. My only focus is to stay at your best.”
Realistically, it doesn't matter a jot whether the Clarets are promoted in a game's time, two games’ time, or five games’ time. It doesn't make a difference if they finish the season with 90-odd points or 100-odd points, providing their total betters those below them.
The Clarets are now 23 matches unbeaten at Turf Moor in all competitions under Kompany, they had found the net in the 22 outings which had preceded the visit of Tony Mowbray's men, scored three or more times in 10 of those, while the number of clean sheets on home soil are now into double figures as well.
This wasn't Burnley's most accomplished performance this season, but the frustrations emanating from a point gained against a very capable Sunderland side, who only recently outclassed Middlesbrough and Norwich City, is testament to where the Clarets have come as a club.
Kompany recognised: "Was it our best game? Probably not. But as a manager you've got to be behind your team when they've given everything. That's what they did. We move on to the next game."
The visitors gave everything too. The league leaders have been level at the break in 13 of their 23 games at home across the board, and nine of 23 games on their travels, but have generally capitalised when their opponents were unable to match the intensity of their first half performances after the break.
The Black Cats just kept purring, however. Teams have often dropped deeper in the second half, conceding both territory and possession, and eventually folded as they struggled to hold off the second tier's highest scorers.
Sunderland just kept plugging away, keeping the hosts at arm's length through their hard work, endeavour, and a little sprinkling of the dark arts which allowed them to eat up game time.
In all honesty, we'd all expected a little bit more from the home side once the team news had been shared. The trio of Manuel Benson, leading scorer Nathan Tella and Anass Zaroury was utilised for only the second time this season, following their trial run together at Bramall Lane in November.
Their influence and productivity didn't quite match expectations, but you do have to legislate for the disruption caused by the international break as well as Benson's lengthy lay-off with injury.
The same can be said for Josh Brownhill, who wasn't able to provide the conjoining arm between defence and attack, which left gaping holes in the middle of the park as the hosts operated in more of a 5-0-5 formation at times, with Ashley Barnes dropping well off the front in a bid to fill the void.
They were guilty of breaking the lines, to engineer numerical advantages, but then stepping back out, allowing Sunderland to get men back behind the ball to recover.
And as time passed, and it loomed increasingly likely that the away side wouldn't weaken, there wasn't necessarily a proven 'game changer' to turn to on the bench, a role Benson, for example, has executed exceedingly well this term.
Mowbray reflected: "We know we're playing against the team that are the best in the league. I said before the game we had to challenge ourselves and compete.
"I think we generally got it right tonight, a little more intensity and a little more aggression at the top, we might have nicked it.
"There were plenty of positives. We've come away from home against a team at the top of the table and we're disappointed we've not taken our chances.
"We're just lacking a bit at the top end of the pitch."
Burnley weren't as clinical as we've become accustomed too, but they worked their openings extremely well, exploiting the channels on the inside and outside of full backs Trai Hume and Lynden Gooch with overlapping and underlapping runs.
Brownhill's hooked pass into the box for Barnes was perhaps one of the more fortuitous advances, but the striker should've done better when lifting his attempt just over the bar.
Dan Neil had found the target twice for the visitors beforehand, with Arijanet Muric flicking the first around the upright before doing well to gather a volley that had travelled through a crowd of bodies.
Brownhill also went close at the end of the half, when receiving the ball back from Benson on the penalty spot, but Gooch's desperate lunge was enough to divert the effort over.
Substitute Amad Diallo almost put Sunderland ahead when his effort spun into the air, off the boot of Josh Cullen, and came back off the underside of the crossbar with Muric rooted to the spot.
Burnley continued to huff and puff; Benson’s effort was wild after Jordan Beyer broke out from the back, and then the Belgian failed to get Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s cross under control when finding space at the far post.
In the end, though, the spoils were shared, and it’s hard to argue with the outcome.