While January began with joy, it is frustration which has typified Burnley’s February thus far.
Having drawn from a winning position last week at bottom club Peterborough, this time it was Bolton’s turn to provide the false hope and subsequent despair with an 81st-minute David Ngog winner giving Wanderers all three points.
In one of the poorer performances of Sean Dyche’s time at the helm, the Clarets never really got into full flow and again lacked the killer instinct needed to put the game beyond doubt.
As the manager rightly acknowledged after the game, despite their current plight Bolton certainly don’t lack strength in depth. And if you allow those sorts of players time on the ball, sooner or later you’re going to get hurt.
Seeing that we were struggling to keep the ball with any great intent, it did surprise me that Dyche chose not to introduce Brian Stock to the midfield at the expense of one of our wide men.
With Trippier, Lafferty, Stanislas, Wallace and Ings all on the pitch I cannot imagine that we would have been short on the flanks, and Stock does provide a confidence on the ball which is perhaps lacking at times in Marney and McCann.
The role played by Graham Alexander in the promotion season is a perfect example of what we seem to be lacking at times at the moment.
Nonetheless, it isn’t just ourselves who are struggling against lowly opposition.
Both second-placed Leicester and sixth-placed Middlesbrough were defeated by clubs in the bottom three at the weekend, with our opponents from last week, Peterborough, beating the former 2-1.
While the league may be frustrating, it is working in our favour at the moment, as even without a win in the last three, the Clarets find themselves in the mix for the top six.
The games against those just above us will be the ones which prove decisive, and with Saturday’s game against Huddersfield postponed, the Clarets’ next tie will be against Middlesbrough at Turf Moor on Tuesday.
Combined with the fact that our fixture against Hull has also been moved to a Monday evening , we now have three midweek home games in the space of a month.
Many do rightly groan about the number of midweek fixtures but there is something a little romantic about Turf Moor under the lights.
And who knows, if our midweek performances over the last few seasons are anything to go by, it might be just the thing our play-off push needs!
By @_thomasturner (The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Accrington Observer or its editor)