Keeping It Clean

Friday 27 November 2015 09:30

While strikers revel in scoring goals, centre-back Dan Burn loves nothing more than keeping a clean sheet. Just four shut-outs have been secured by Fulham this season, with Burn featuring in two of them - the 3-0 win over Sheffield United in the League Cup and the goalless draw at Middlesbrough last month.

Finding the net hasn’t been a problem for Fulham. At the time of writing, the Whites are leading scorers in the Sky Bet Championship with 30. It’s been keeping them out at the other end which has been more problematic. A tally of 29 conceded perhaps showcases Fulham’s inconsistency this season.

“I’ve been saying this for a while now,” Burn told the official matchday programme. “The back four and the goalkeeper take the brunt of it when we concede goals but you have to defend as a team. When you’ve got players who are good on the ball and can create things, you want them to push forward, but it’s the other side, the defensive side, that we need to work on.

“Peter Grant’s been in caretaker charge for four or five days and already you can see that he’s concentrating on that side of our game a lot more; he’s trying to make us a harder team to break down.”

There’s certainly competition for places at centre-half in SW6. Tim Ream and Richard Stearman were drafted in this season, with Burn, Shaun Hutchinson and Nikolay Bodurov also battling for a starting spot.

“You’ve got two really experienced pros there in Tim and Stears but it’s something I’m used to - trying to fight off other players for a starting spot,” said Burn, Fulham's Kick It Out Ambassador ahead of the designated game with Preston North End.

“It’s a bit of the same old for me this term. I just really want to try and seal a starting place. I want to play football, that’s why I started playing the game; I don’t think any player is happy being on the bench. It’s not been brilliant for me this season but I’m working hard and trying to get as much game time as I can.”

To read the full interview with Burn, get your hands on Saturday’s matchday programme.

Other highlights in the only matchday magazine that matters - which is also available to download digitally from 12pm on Saturday - are:

  • Caretaker Head Coach Peter Grant reviews the performance at MK Dons
  • Captain Scott Parker gives his views on the current managerial situation
  • Joe Lewis answers some random questions in the Name Game
  • Former England rugby star Steve Borthwick on following Preston down the years
  • John Marshall waxes lyrical on his spell in SW6
  • Les Strong pens his latest columns
  • And we continue to take a walk down memory lane to the 1998/99 promotion-winning season

Priced £3.50, the 84-page publication is available from various sellers on Stevenage Road from two hours before kick-off. Or order it online from ProgrammeMaster.

For just £1.99, the programme is also available as a digital download with added video content from 12pm on Saturday, so whether you’re at home or away, you need never be without it on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, PC or Mac via Apple’s Newsstand or Pocketmags.

Or to ensure you don’t miss a single copy of the official matchday programme, purchase an annual subscription. Head here for full details.

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