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A Q&A with a Burnley fan: Leeds Against The World

Burnley and Leeds have had very different seasons in 2015/16, will this be the Clarets' last trip to Elland Road for awhile?

David Jones and Lewis Cook battle in August, very different seasons since.
David Jones and Lewis Cook battle in August, very different seasons since.
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

So, last time we did a Leeds Against The World, we had won three in a row and were looking to complete an undefeated March. Now we've not won in the last three, and Tuesday night felt like a loss, so it's basically the exact opposite situation... and we have Championship leaders Burnley on Saturday at Turf Moor. Fantastic.

We'll have a full preview of the game tomorrow, but today, we've asked Tony Scholes of Burnley blog Up The Clarets a few questions to give us a view from the top of the table. He was gracious enough to respond, but we're guessing you won't love his answers. Still, it's a worthwhile exercise to see things from the other side before a match. Meet the Clarets through the eyes of Tony, then check out his blog and get ready for Saturday.

Leeds Against The World: Burnley FC

Hey, Tony. Thanks for doing this. So, unlike at Leeds, you seem to be having quite a season over there at Turf Moor, though that’s maybe to be expected after being in the Premier League last year. What’s been the biggest reason for your Championship success this season?

So much of what we have achieved is down to the manager Sean Dyche. He came in during the 2012/13 season and has built the most fantastic team spirit. New players come in and speak about it, the togetherness in the squad, and that is transferred out onto the pitch. It's something your own manager Brian McDermott spoke about after we last played Leeds at home in March 2014. He said it was what he wanted to build at Leeds. It doesn't need me to tell you we've had the same manager, building the club, for the last three and a half years. That's how you do it.

We don't have the biggest budget, we don't make many big signings although we did pay just short of £6 million (that's six, not the nine Sky keep telling us it is) for Andre Gray to replace, in effect, Danny Ings.

Two seasons ago we won a record 93 points in winning promotion. We won't get to that total this season but we are still, at the time of writing, in a very good position in the league.

But, it is one game at a time as the manager tells us.

What’s been the best and worst parts about being in the second division for you as a fan?

As a supporter you want your team to be the best it can be, so it was disappointing to be back in the Championship this season in so many ways. But I do enjoy all the midweek games and the real competitiveness of it, and I would never expect us to be up at the top of the Premier League, so we do get to win games more frequently which, let's face it, is what football fans want to see.

What changes do you hope the club makes if you do go up?

I don't expect us to make many changes. Obviously we will bring in new players and build the squad but, should we go up, we will still be the smallest club in the league by some distance.

We don't have the finance that clubs such as Watford and Bournemouth have. Our board of directors, whilst being wealthy men, are Burnley supporters and that's how the club has always been. I like it that way, at least you know they are making decisions for the right reasons.

Do you have a favorite Burnley-Leeds memory?

I certainly do. I'm old enough to remember a very young team of Burnley players beating Leeds 5-1 at Turf Moor in 1968/69 season and then winning 4-1 at Elland Road in 1973/74. It surely won't go unnoticed with you that these were the two seasons you ended as champions in that era.

It's difficult to choose which was the better of the two to be honest. We'd been ravaged by injuries in 1968 and thrown a lot of kids in who went on to win eight consecutive games, this being one of them.

But the 1974 win was sensational stuff, even though it ended on a very sour note with Norman Hunter virtually ending Frank Casper's career with an appalling act of thuggery. There was no love lost between the two clubs at that time and the Burnley directors refused to attend the game. They missed a treat.

What’s one matchup we should watch for on Saturday?

You'll need to be sharp at the back. We are the league's leading goal scorers. Our two strikers are scoring goals regularly and every one of the team who started the game at Brighton last Saturday has scored at least one league goal this season.

Give us a reason you’ll win:

I'd like to say we'll win. We need the points right now to keep ahead of the other three clubs just behind us. We are a good side at this level and that, above all, is why we win so often.

Give us a reason you’ll lose:

We will need to have a bad day and all sides have them. We don't have many and we're hopeful there won't be any more to come between now and the end of the season.

What’s your predicted result?

I'd love to say 5-1 again but that's probably unlikely. It would help if you could turn in a defensive display similar to the one at Brighton recently. I'd settle for any winning score to be honest, but if pushed I'll go for 2-0.

God, that was awful to read. Looks like the rough matchup we expected. Sorry Leeds fans. Big thanks though to Tony Scholes for responding to our questions and helping with our sixth Leeds Against The World Q&A. You can read more of his work over at Up The Clarets.

Jealous of the spot they're in, now I hope we win 5-1 on Saturday in what's likely the last meeting with Burnley for the forseeable future. They go up this summer... then they get relegated again in 2017 and we take their spot in the Premiership. Sound good? #MOT.