Burnley 2 Saints 3

Daily Echo: EARLY BOOST: Bradley Wright-Phillips has just scored. EARLY BOOST: Bradley Wright-Phillips has just scored.

LIFE IS never dull at Saints these days - off the pitch and on it.

While much of the talk over the past week has been of investment, there has also been the small matter of three games played in that time.

Sometimes it's all too easy to forget that those players kicking a ball around is, ultimately, what all the fuss is about.

So what better way to end the week than on a high and with a win for George Burley's team.

There may well often be fireworks off the pitch, but there is plenty on it as well.

If you want goals, then Saints is the place to be.

Deserved win for Saints, who were the better team and could have been four up inside 20 minutes. Credit to George Burley who got his brave team selection spot on. Saints are starting to show signs of some form and need to keep it going.

Adam Leitch

They seem to fly in from all angles at both ends.

It was just a mere five at Burnley but there is little doubt the victory was thoroughly deserved.

With four wins out of their last six, Saints have strung some results together.

And with 13 games played, they have got themselves into a reasonable position just outside the play-offs.

Hopefully they will now get players fit and keep them that way ready for a big push until Christmas and the New Year - a period which will make or break their season.

Things are never dull on the teamsheet either.

Burley has shown he is not afraid to chop and change, though he has come in for some criticism for that policy.

You have to admire his bravery - he is prepared to take the flak if things go wrong and back his own judgement.

He changed things at Bristol City and the first half was poor. He did indeed have to shoulder some of the blame.

But rather than go for a safety-first option in his selection for the game at Burnley, he shuffled things about again.

He played a central midfielder at centre half and a centre half in central midfield.

If it would have backfired, Burley would have taken some stick.

But he went with what he thought was for the best and he was proved right.

He made the right decisions.

The two players in question were Jhon Viafara and Christian Dailly.

Viafara was again a tower of strength at the back, always flying in to tackles.

His ball-chasing approach to defensive positioning is unorthodox to say the least but as he is so committed he takes out the ball, the man and anything else which happens to get in the way.

He not only gets away with it but looks good too.

Dailly is a canny old pro and, with Youssef Safri suspended, was given the holding role in midfield. He's used to playing there and was generally excellent.

Saints looked good up front as well, Stern John holding the ball up and bringing Bradley Wright-Phillips' pace into play.

Saints came flying out of the traps at Turf Moor.

They took the lead after just three minutes when Dailly played a terrific ball into the path of Wright-Phillips. He controlled on his thigh as he pushed towards goal and lashed his shot across the keeper.

Saints could have had two more in the ensuing moments but were denied by the woodwork on both occasions.

First it was John who nailed an effort from 20 yards which beat Gabor Kiraly all ends up - only to hit one post, bounce across the line and strike the other upright before re-bounding out.

Then Wright-Phillips hit the far post with a shot lifted across Kiraly after being picked out by a raking pass from Phil Ifil.

However, there was no denying Saints a deserved second on 15 minutes.

Nathan Dyer lofted a cross to the far post where Jason Euell tracked in from the left and headed back across goal into the far corner.

Unfortunately, Saints' defensive lapses were still evident as Burnley got themselves back in the game on 31 minutes.

They had opportunities to clear out a high ball but instead allowed Andy Gray to shield it.

He laid it into the path of Chris McCann who too easily got past Dailly and Viafara and finished past Kelvin Davis.

But six minutes after the restart, Saints had restored their two-goal advantage.

This time Ifil's cross from the right picked out John at the far post and he slammed home his header.

Saints were relieved to see a flicked header from Gray drift just wide before sub Ade Akinbiyi fired home with seven minutes remaining. Grzegorz Rasiak had a chance to seal the points but shot wide so it was over to the Saints defence to see it out - and they did with few dramas.

In fact, it proved to be the calmest few minutes of the week.

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