St Marys Stadium
Before the match it was reported in the press that Harry Redknapp would not be attending the game and Dave Bassett, with Dennis Wise, had been placed in charge for the match preparations. By the time this announcement came it was obvious that Harry would be leaving the club and most fans are happy to see the back of him.
For the duration of the game the small but vocal turnout at St Marys were in full voice, most of their angst being directed at Rupert Lowe and, of course, Harry Redknapp. The fans have clearly had enough of the huge rotation of managers and were making their views known. The club have now had a shocking 8 mangers in Lowe's 8 year tenure.
It was always going to be hard for the players to put in a good performance and they didn't surprise. The team looked shell shocked at the weeks events and were disjointed from the start.
The game contained very little goal mouth action but somehow, to the surprise of the Saints fans, we did get ahead from a 33rd minute Danny Higginbotham penalty after Rory Delap had been brought down by Micah Hyde.
Burnley had barely threatened Saints during the first half and it was a surprise they didn't have a real go at our fragile team from the off, considering the excellent vein of form they've been in recently.
In the second half Burnley were better and had their best spell of the game. They subsequently scored with one of very few clear cut chances created in the game. Graham Branch broke down the left and whipped in a perfect cross which was powerfully headed in by Championship top scorer Ade Akinbyi. The Saints defence had been totally non existent.
'Harry' Bassett and a suited Dennis Wise threw on Fuller and Jones for Ormerod and Walcott, to replace pace with aeriel power. The substitutions were unsurprising considering the rest of the team could not keep the ball on the floor and were giving no quality supply to the short strike pair. The changes did nothing to improve the team though and if anything the team looked more disjointed for the final stages, as the game petered out to another draw.
Saints fans have to expect the soap opera to continue this week, as the club now have to find yet another manager. We'll be running out of people we haven't already had soon. Some fans were singing Dennis Wise name during the match. Dave Bassett also made it known he'd like the job, he said yesterday 'I've got the CV. I haven't done badly in 10 years - eight promotions and two play-off finals is pretty good. I'm not sure if anyone else out there has got that CV' The press have unsurprisingly been speculating about Sir Clive Woodward, though he's already stated the job is too soon for him. George Burley has to be high on our wanted list. After his spell at Hearts, he has to be considered one of the best calibre young managers currently available. I wonder if he'd like working for Lowe more than Romanov ?
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