THE Clarets under Eddie Howe are struggling to find their feet this season.
Howe did a fantastic job at Turf Moor last term following his switch from Bournemouth, enhancing his credentials as one of the hottest young managerial prospects.
But inconsistency this term is hurting his reputation.
Howe is not afraid to alter his tactical approach from week to week.
In the superb 2-1 win at West Ham earlier this month, Burnley set out to stifle Sam Allardyce’s side with a 4-5-1 formation that proved very successful.
But the pattern of inconsistency continued the following game with the Clarets beaten 1-0 at home to Portsmouth, that day with a four man midfield.
Burnley have a good goalscoring record, understandable with proven Football League talent Sam Vokes, Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin and Martin Paterson in their ranks.
With Austin slowly making his return from injury, the forward partnership has been Wolves loanee Vokes and the tricky Rodriguez, the former taking the role of the target man.
Threat also comes from the wide areas with Ross Wallace, Keith Treacey and Junior Stanislas in the ranks, plus full back Kieron Trippier is hardly reserved.
But Burnley’s defence is almost as equally leaky as their attack is productive, ensuring those inconsistent results.
A lack of strength in the centre of the park puts pressure on the back four and this looks to be an area most in need of Howe’s attention come January.
Last line-up: (4-4-2) Grant, Trippier, Duff, Mee, Edgar, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Bartley, Rodriguez, Paterson.
One to watch: Jay Rodriguez
Hometown hero Jay Rodriguez is proving to be the jewel in Burnley’s crown, one they are desperate to keep hold of.
The 22-year-old enjoyed an exceptional season with 15 goals as Burnley pushed for the play offs.
And the forward has picked up where he left off last term with 11 netted already.
Operating best off a main striker, Rodriguez roams and finds space to exploit, making him a difficult threat to deal with.
Championship high flyers Southampton were the first club to be linked with a move for him but expect more.
Head to head:
Rovers wins: 12
Clarets wins: 12