We need to win games like that - Eddie Howe

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe felt his side did enough to take the points against Derby – but accepted that was the type of game Burnley have to win to make the top six.

Monday, 23rd January 2012, 8:18 am

The goalless draw left Burnley still three points outside the play-off places, in 12th.

And while frustrated not to break Derby down, Howe felt the point and clean sheet was another step in the right direction.

He said: “We are improving.

“It’s not the three we wanted, but it’s one, and I do believe it’s a positive step. The league is so tight.

“Ideally, to get in the top six I think we need to win games like that. But we haven’t got beaten, so we have to look at it positively.

“We feel we did just do enough.

“It wasn’t a great spectacle. I think everyone could see the weather had a huge bearing on the game and how it was played. It was difficult to play the attractive game that we wanted to, and we did have to adapt slightly, which was a shame.

“We felt we created enough chances to have shaded it and taken the game and three points.

“But the keeper made a couple of good saves, and we missed a couple of really good chances.”

Derby’s timewasting stopped the flow of the game and hindered Burnley’s tempo, and Howe admitted: “It was very much a feature of the game.

“Right from the first minute, the goalkeeper was taking forever over his goal kicks, much to our frustration throughout the game.

“It wasn’t really hurried up by the referee and it made it slow. Being the home side you want the reverse.”

But regardless, after losing a number of tight games at the death this season, a point is a point: “I think we would have lost that game earlier in the season. We’ve conceded so many late goals here and they’ve been tight games. That, again, is a progression for me of our team. We haven’t got beaten, we’ve learnt from our previous mistakes and we’ve come out with a point.

“We created enough. Keith and Charlie had good chances early on. The goalkeeper made a great save from Jay Rod and we missed a couple as well.

“We still looked like we were going to score goals. It was just a frustrating one, I think if we’d have got one, we’d have been okay.”

Defensively, it was a fifth clean sheet in six games, and Howe was delighted: “They’re getting better and better. They’re really well-drilled and organised, and Michael Duff’s made a huge impact in that respect, talking and leading the group. But all of them have played their part.

“We looked solid, I don’t think Lee Grant had a save to make – perhaps one – in the whole game. If you keep clean sheets you don’t get beaten, so that’s a good step.”