Patience is the key - Brian Laws

BRIAN Laws admitted his side went against his instructions against Coventry, and couldn’t understand why.

Monday, 22nd November 2010, 9:00 am

After looking comfortable in the first half, Burnley went behind just after half-time to a 20-yarder from Michael Doyle, and their composure on the ball went out of the window.

Laws was disappointed at their lack of patience in possession, and even when he introduced Ross Wallace and Steven Thompson to move to 4-4-2, rather than work positions down the flanks, the ball went into the box too early from too deep.

Laws, looking back on a fourth defeat of the season, said: “I think the frustration got the better of us.

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“We were in complete control for long periods of the game, right up until they scored.

“For me, there looked only one team who was going to go on and win the game, and that was us.

“We were patient, passed the ball well, moved it purposefully in the first half and created chances.

“That disappoints me because we’re not clinical enough in front of goal, particularly away from home.

“For some reason, our calmness in front of goal seems to disappear and it’s costing us dearly.

“That adds pressure when you concede, because you want to get back in the game as quickly as possible.

“But particularly in the last 20 minutes, we stopped doing what we were doing in the first period – being patient, playing down the sides of their back four, and causing them problems.

“We ended up going direct, of which there was no instruction to do so. In fact, that was the time to be even more patient.”

“The good sides stay patient, and their opportunity will come.

“It looked like it was the last five minutes of the game in that last 20 minutes, and that’s something we’ve got to get out of our system, because there’s no way we’ll change the mentality unless we do the right things.

“The performance levels have been very good, they don’t collate with the results, but I know what we’ve got to work on, and that’s patience more than anything else.

“I don’t want the players to get frustrated, and get that negativity that we’re struggling to win a game away from home, because that becomes a mental block, and I don’t believe for a minute that’s in their system.

“However, patience has to be the key for us, because we’ve got good players who play good football.

“If they go the other way, they are at their least effective.

“And in that period where you make changes, the instructions were to get down the sides and do some combination work where we can get at our full-backs.

“I thought we were doing that too deep, and in the end, our crosses were coming in too early, and easy to defend against.

“That frustrates the supporters, because they know we’re better than that, I know we’re better than that.

“When we conceded the goal – that was probably their one shot at goal in open play.”

Laws resisted the temptation to start with Wallace, despite his match-winning cameo against Watford, sticking with the side that started against the Hornets.

He explained: “It was a really tough decision not to start with Ross, but we felt, particularly down their right, we needed to get at them, their strength was aerially, so we needed to get it down.

“We knew there was a weakness and we didn’t capitalise on it as much as we should.

“Ross had a good period last week, and it was very tough to make that decision, because he was effective.

“But it’s not the team that starts, it’s the team that finishes, that’s more the critical point, and you have to have plan A and plan B.

“It might have been better for Ross to start, but the formation was nothing to do with it, because we dominated the first half, so it was the right decision at that time.

“The changes we made didn’t work as they did last week. The formation was good enough.”

The away fans called for “4-4-2”, and met the decision to replace Jack Cork with a quarter of the game remaining with derision and chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing”.

But Laws was at a loss to explain their ire, saying: “The changes were identical to last week, and it worked, so I don’t know where the frustration comes from, because I’m sure they wanted it to happen as much as anything else.

“The fans are getting frustrated anyway because they know week in, week out, how we’ve played away from home.

“We’ve deserved more than we’ve got, and that’s the disappointment.”