Blogs & Opinion


Kevin Phillips: Leicester desperate to beat Burnley to Championship title

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 27th March 2014 view comments

Our priority at Leicester is promotion to the Premier League but we want to win the Championship – and on Saturday, against second-placed Burnley, we can give ourselves a great chance of doing that.

Leicester haven’t been in the Premier League for a very long time and with us currently 13 points clear of the play-off places with nine games to go we’re close to achieving that goal.

However, the boys have played so well all season and been top of the league for a long time, to not win the title as well would be a blow. 

Leicester and Burnley meet live on Sky - but Danny Ings (left) will be missing

Leicester and Burnley meet live on Sky - but Danny Ings (left) will be missing

I’m sure there’ll be a few more twists and turns between now and the end of the season but if we can get a good result at Turf Moor and go six clear with eight games to go, that will set us up well for the next eight games, which come pretty quickly between now and the end of the campaign.

It’ll be a tough match, though – as it always is at Turf Moor – and there’ll be a cracking atmosphere there.

This game has been teed up perfectly. It’s an early afternoon kick-off, live on Sky, there are three points between us plus our game in hand, which is away at Wigan, and it’s all gearing up to be a fantastic spectacle.

Both teams are playing good football and players in both sides are scoring goals. Up front for Burnley – although Danny Ings may still be missing – Sam Vokes is on fire, and our two boys, David Nugent and Jamie Vardy have been scoring lots, too. It’s going to be a game for the strikers.

The question is, with us both being so clear ahead of QPR, do we both go for the throat and go for the win to try and boost our title chances?

We’ll certainly go there to win the game but we won’t go all guns blazing. We’ll have to be sensible because we know they’ve got a lot of threat in their team and good players who can hurt you.

I actually expect it to be a tight affair, similar to what it was like at the King Power in December. I remember watching that on Sky before I joined Leicester and there was not a lot in it. I predict it will be the same this weekend.

Burnley are the home team and will come at us and we’ll expect that and set up to be hard to break down. But with the pace and the trickery we’ve got in the team we’ll try to hit them on the counter. It will be an interesting affair.

Surprise

Being totally honest – and even people in Burnley will agree – before the season started I’d never have envisaged seeing them sitting second in the league, three points off the leaders with nine games to go with a healthy lead over QPR in third.

Sean Dyche has done an unbelievable job there. He’s had limited resources so the players he has brought in he’s brought in wisely and he’s got a system there that’s working.

I always believed the key to getting promoted out of the Championship is finding a player up front who can get you 20-odd goals – and if you can find two of them that’s even better. But also keeping clean sheets is key, and the two centre halves at Burnley are experienced players. That’s the basis of a good side and Dyche deserves all the credit he’s got.

Earlier in the season some pundits were suggesting Burnley didn’t have enough strength in depth to maintain their good start to the season but they’ve proved those critics wrong.

They’ve been fortunate with injuries but from experience I can tell you when you’re winning games week-in, week-out, any players with slight knocks might miss a couple of days of training but they won’t want to miss a single game.

Dyche is obviously managing the squad very well, too. He’s clearly not over-training them, getting the balance right and it’s paying off.

A lot of people would have thought they might stutter a little bit with Ings not playing in the last few games as well, but once again they’ve stepped up to the plate and continued to get results. That’s testament to Dyche and his players.

Prepare

We go into this big game on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Yeovil on Tuesday night.

In the end it was a great finish to the game, with Chris Wood sticking the ball in the net to equalise for us in injury time after Kasper Schmeichel looked to have headed it in. (Kasper is trying to claim it but I can’t see it being re-awarded now!)

We’d have liked to have wrapped it up earlier but hopefully that will turn out to be a good point. It’s kept our unbeaten run going and that’s stretched to 18 games now, which, in the Championship, where anybody can beat anybody, is very good.

Nigel Pearson, our manager, was in hospital over the weekend but back in charge for that game and we certainly tested his health in those final few minutes. However, he was very upbeat after the match and hopefully we can take that positivity into the weekend.

We’ll talk about Burnley at training this week but at the end of the day it’s about what we do. We know our starting XI can beat anyone and hopefully we will get the good result we need to give us a great chance of taking the Championship title. 

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Guillem: Messi has changed

Guillem Balague explains how Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are playing new roles this season....

Chris Kamara

Kammy's Weekend Review

Frank Lampard showed his class, says Kammy - but Spurs and Everton paid for European exertions....

Gary Neville

Neville: Man Utd 'soft-centred'

Gary Neville says 'soft-centred' Manchester United were 'bullied' by Leicester City in 5-3 defeat....

Latest News RSS feeds

Mata issues United apology

Juan Mata has apologised to Manchester United fans after the team's embarrassing capitulation at Leicester on Sunday.

Rodgers: Liverpool will improve

Brendan Rodgers remains hopeful that Liverpool can overcome their sluggish start, but admits he needs to lift morale.

Debuchy out for three months

Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy has been ruled out for three months after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle.

Sammon nets as Ipswich climb

Conor Sammon was on target as Ipswich defeated Wigan 2-1 at the DW Stadium to climb to seventh in the Championship.

Leeds set to unveil Milanic

Leeds United are very close to confirming Darko Milanic as their new head coach on a two-year contract.

Features

Iker Caillas: Are Real Madrid set to chop legendary Spain goalkeeper?

Iker Caillas: Are Real Madrid set to chop legendary Spain goalkeeper?

Have Real Madrid lost faith in Iker Caillas?

James Milner: Manchester City’s key man in Premier League draw with Chelsea

James Milner: Manchester City’s key man in Premier League draw with Chelsea

Although Chelsea will consider themselves unfortunate to have let their lead slip, it was fitting that James Milner provided the spark to reignite his Manchester City’s fortunes in Sunday’s draw between the two Premier League title rivals.

Mesut Ozil – Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: What did you think of German World Cup winner in Premier League win?

Mesut Ozil – Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: What did you think of German World Cup winner in Premier League win?

One minute and 19 seconds. That was the time it took for a transformation in the appraisals of Mesut Ozil.