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Three goals in each of the previous two home games against Brentford and Crystal Palace but there was never any suggestion of that against West Ham yesterday in a game that, hardly surprisingly, ended in a 0-0 draw.

It was the sort of game, similar to that at Wolves a week and a half earlier, that a 0-0 result looked more than likely very early in the proceedings with neither team having much in the way of opportunities although we have to admit that West Ham, currently fourth in the table, were the most likely.

One positive was the weather. The last time we played at home, or the last time we should have played at home, the game was called off because of snow. It did snow, I can assure you. I was out on the bins with ClaretsforFoodbanks almost turning white.

I think we were all sure that Maxwel Cornet wouldn’t be playing. Described as having an outside chance, he’s still not training and I’d be shocked if he were involved in either game this week. Jay Rodriguez came in for him; just his second league start this season, and there were two more changes. Fit again Ben Mee was back at the expense of Nathan Collins while, in a surprise move, Jack Cork came in for Josh Brownhill who was relegated to the bench.

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After a quiet opening, West Ham stepped things up and Arthur Masuaka had the first real effort on goal with a shot that went narrowly wide. But the closest they came to a goal was midway through the half but Nick Pope made a terrific stop to deny Issa Diop following a corner.

West Ham felt they should have had a penalty for a Dwight McNeil foul on Craig Dawson. Referee Graham Scott didn’t give it and neither did Jon Moss on VAR. I think we were somewhat fortunate to be honest and I’d have not been too happy had it been us refused it.

Still, 0-0 at half time and after forty five minutes when Sean Dyche said we weren’t at the races. We weren’t, it was a continuation of the second half at Newcastle but we were now playing against a much better team.

The second half started much better and Jay Rod was unfortunate with an early goal bound effort that was deflected wide. It looked as though the manager had opted for a quiet word at half time but things soon changed and West Ham had their best spell of the game, often driven forward by the hugely impressive Declan Rice.

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At times it looked as though we were hanging on but we defended well and none more so than captain Mee who was outstanding. When West Ham did get through they found Nick Pope almost unbeatable in front of the watching Gareth Southgate who was probably so busy enthusing at Rice’s performance, and with just reason, that he probably ignored Pope as we have begun to expect.

I thought we saw off that difficult period unscathed and then came more into things again and the final period of the game was somewhat sterile with neither of the two sides threatening too often. West Ham did have a couple of moments but close to the end we nearly snatched it when Jay got onto a low ball in from the left. His touch saw the ball go across goal but no one could get on the end of it.

The game ended fittingly with West Ham having a shot at goal that soared high over the bar just when I was having a last minute of stoppage time panic.

Some have criticised then performance, and with some justification, but in a perverse way it was more of what we wanted. I wrote after the Palace game that if we were to escape the relegation positions we would need to start keeping more clean sheets and since then we’ve only conceded one goal and that from an uncharacteristic mistake.

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The problem is the goals have dried up but right now I’d rather have a 0-0 than a 3-3, not in terms of watching the game but in what I believe we need to do. I know we can’t win if we don’t score but if we don’t concede, we don’t lose and that’s vital right now.

West Ham are a good side although, on this occasion, Michail Antonio didn’t trouble us but, on that form, I wouldn’t have minded Rice wearing our claret and blue. Now it’s Watford, and we are going to have to play much better, certainly attack wise.

The teams were;

Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood (Josh Brownhill 71), Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil (Aaron Lennon 88), Jay Rodriguez, Chris Wood (Matěj Vydra 60). Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Phil Bardsley, Nathan Collins, Kevin Long, Bobby Thomas, Erik Pieters.
Yellow Cards: Charlie Taylor, Ben Mee.

West Ham: Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson, Issa Diop, Arthur Masuaka, Tómaš Souček, Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen, Manuel Lanzini (Pablo Fornals 80), Said Benrahma (Nikola Vlašić 70), Michail Antonio. Subs not used: Alphonse Areola, Mark Noble, Alex Král, Andriy Yarmolenko, Aji Alese, Harrison Ashby, Jamal Baptiste.
Yellow Card: Craig Dawson.

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).

Attendance: 18,065.

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