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Burnley 2-0 Bolton Wanderers: Man of the Match Jay Spearing

Joe returns with his second article of the day, this time awarding the coveted LOV MOTM award

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

It may seem an unusual choice to award MOTM to a player who left the field before half-time through injury, but I think the change in fortunes in either half of the game shows how much influence the diminutive former captain had.

Bolton Wanderers were dominant for most of the first half, and this was largely due to the control we had over the game in midfield.

Ex-Manchester United man David Jones struggled to exert his normal influence over the game, and Joey Barton was completely anonymous.

Jay Spearing, however, ran the show. He seemed a step ahead of everyone else on the pitch in his thinking, playing a few excellent first-time balls to move us from defence on to the front foot.

He was composed and assured in possession, and put in a few good tackles, as you would expect.

He positioned himself well in a defensive role, and allowed Neil Danns to push further forward. We controlled the game and looked by far the more likely team to walk away victorious.

Contrast this to the second half, after Spearing had left the field injured. We moved the ball far too slowly from defence to attack, allowing Burnley time to settle and position themselves defensively.

Jones and Scott Arfield grew in influence, and particularly for the second goal our defence was exposed, when nobody from midfield dropped in to cover for Casado's run forward.

An encouraging return to the first team for Spearing, and I only hope his injury isn't a bad one and he is back in the team soon - we have missed his influence for too long.