When your team are down among the nearly dead men and the fans are bawling 'you don't know what you're doing,' anything festive belongs to another world.
Gary Megson was the manager whose ears were assaulted even though his Bolton side dug in to claim a point from the passion of a sold-out Turf Moor.
The Bolton fans did not like his substitutions -Mark Davies coming on for Ivan Klasnic and Ricardo Gardner for Chung-Yong Lee - but they could have aimed their barbs at those defenders who went missing when David Nugent equalised Matt Taylor's first-half free-kick.
Pleased as punch: Taylor celebrates his free kick
'First-class execution, the free-kick,' said Burnley manager OwenCoyle, who spent two-and-a-half years as a Bolton player and has a deepaffection for the club.
He was also proud of his side's second-half effort that took them to20 points and was almost purring as he said: 'Our passing and movementwas incisive, cultured.'
He wants to turn Nugent's loan from Portsmouth into somethingpermanent, although Burnley's budget is probably the smallest in thePremier League.
There is always heightened tension when Lancastrians meet in a derbyand the mood was as intense as ever, especially in the stands, withappeal and counter-appeal.
Burnley had a big shout for a penalty early on when Nugent went downas Gary Cahill moved in. Referee Chris Foy ruled, rightly, that Nugentwent to ground too easily.
Burnley found a Bolton side playing with a spirit in the first halfthat belied their bottom-three status and, after Burnley keeper BrianJensen had made four competent saves, he was beaten by Taylor's 20-yardfree-kick.
Andre Bikey's foul on Kevin Davies gave Taylor his chance, and hedelivered perfectly, finding the net just inside Jensen's left-handpost. Taylor's habit of scoring such goals must have people wonderingwhy Portsmouth ever let him go.
Centre of attention: Nugent is grabbed by team-mate Tyrone Mears and boss Owen Coyle
Kevin McDonald clattered the Bolton bar and Taylor shaved a post asboth teams emerged after the interval with a noticeable injection ofpace.
But it was the most fluent move of the match that brought Burnleytheir 56th-minute equaliser. Chris Eagles swept a pass from left toright to Tyrone Mears, who pushed the ball forward to Wade Elliott.
His measured cross gave Nugent the chance to make scoring look easy.Megson called it 'sloppy defending' and added: 'He shouldn't have beenallowed to score.'
The goal gave Burnley impetus. Eagles is something of a strolling player who suddenly produces a burst of speed.
His touch is immaculate. Sure, he can be frustrating but this was one of his days.
When Burnley were rampaging during the second half JussiJaaskelainen demonstrated why he remains one of the League's topgoalkeepers.
January may give Megson the chance to strengthen a back four where, at times, Zat Knight and Cahill looked like strangers.
Burnley hope to have their regular centre-back pairing of SteveCaldwell and Clarke Carlisle back for tomorrow's short trip to Everton.
Bolton's £18m man Cahill pays tribute to Burnley ahead of crunch clashTRANSFER WINDOW GUIDE: The lowdown on every club this JanuaryBURNLEY FC