No end to Robins’ woe at Clarets

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FOURTH ROUND - By Colin Hen­rys

THE FA Cup pro­vided no respite for Lee John­son’s Bris­tol City as Premier League Burn­ley cruised into the fifth round.

Vic­tory against Fleet­wood in their third-round re­play was City’s only win in their last ten matches – a run which has seen them set a club-record se­quence of eight straight league de­feats.

And any hopes of a cup run to ease the gloom were ex­tin­guished by goals from Sam Vokes and Steven De­four at Turf Moor.

John­son be­lieves the shoots of re­cov­ery are be­gin­ning to show, how­ever, and in­sisted he re­mains con­fi­dent in his play­ers’ abil­ity.

“I thought some of our foot­ball was ev­ery bit what we’re about,” he said.

“Our iden­tity, our phi­los­o­phy was there. We were beaten by the bet­ter team, but we did a lot of good things.

“Maybe we lacked fi­nesse in the fi­nal third, but I’m not go­ing to lam­bast my play­ers af­ter that per­for­mance.

“If we pull to­gether we can pull our­selves out of what’s been a hor­ri­ble time for us – there’s no deny­ing that – but if we do come through it with this group of young play­ers then that re­silience has been grown.

“I’ve got full be­lief in the play­ers’ abil­ity to dig them­selves out of it and I’ve got full be­lief in my abil­ity.”

Burn­ley boss Sean Dyche made eight changes to the team who lost in stop­page time to Arse­nal, but the Premier League side con­trolled the tempo of the game from the first whis­tle. Still, Bris­tol City could have snatched a half-time lead with their first mean­ing­ful chance when Mi­lan Djuric dived in to head Zak Vyner’s cross goal­wards on 43 min­utes, but Nick Pope saved.

On the stroke of half-time they were ru­ing that miss even more when De­four sidestepped Bai­ley Wright with ease and picked out Vokes, who coolly side-footed into the bot­tom cor­ner.

The vis­i­tors nearly made mat­ters worse for them­selves on 52 min­utes, but Fabian Giefer re­acted quickly to slide Aden Flint’s over­hit back­pass wide.

De­four shot wide across goal mo­ments later, be­fore Scott Ar­field also failed to test Giefer af­ter wrig­gling clear of Vyner on 63 min­utes.

But De­four dou­bled the lead with a sub­lime chip five min­utes later, ap­ply­ing the fin­ish­ing touch to a fast-paced counter af­ter Pope saved Josh Brown­hill’s free-kick at the other end.

Vokes came within inches of adding to the lead from De­four’s long free-kick on 78 min­utes, but the Wales striker’s shot bounced wide off the post.

Flint al­most grabbed a stop­page-time con­so­la­tion, head­ing just wide from Brown­hill’s free­kick, but Burn­ley’s place in the fifth-round draw was never re­ally threat­ened af­ter the break.

And Dyche said: “I’m very pleased. It’s the FA Cup – some odd things can hap­pen and we wanted to take care of what we had to do.

“We con­trolled a lot of the first half, and scored a very good goal just be­fore half-time. Sec­ond half, I thought we de­liv­ered a good per­for­mance and came out of it wor­thy win­ners.

“But that’s no dis­re­spect to Bris­tol City. They’re on an awk­ward run in the league but came with the free­dom that some­times comes with that and that’s why I was pleased as well.

“Steven De­four’s goal was on a dif­fer­ent level. That’s a sub­lime fin­ish. It de­serves to be shown a thou­sand times.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

Burn­ley's James Tarkowski in ac­tion with Bris­tol City's Cal­lum O'Dowda

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