Another day, another pointless return journey for Burnley as their dreadful away form continued at Vicarage Road yesterday. Sean Dyche's Clarets seem determined to discover new ways to suffer on their travels.
A Jeff Hendrick lunge in the sixth minute saw him take an early visit to the dressing room when referee Michael Oliver showed the Irishman an immediate red card for a studs up challenge on the stricken Watford full back Jose Holebas.
Two first half goals from former Claret target and now Watford skipper Troy Deeney and new on loan recruit Mbaye Niang, left Burnley with a second half mountain to climb.
Burnley came out fighting and even with ten men gave the home side plenty to think about in a spirited second half performance. Ashley Barnes converted a 76th minute penalty and then came close to grabbing a last gasp equalizer when he fired a shot into the hands of the diving Hornets' keeper Gomez.
Sean Dyche continues to enthuse about his team's away performances but one point earned on the road from a possible thirty three is the stuff of relegation nightmares. Only the complete reverse form at Fortress Turf Moor is preventing the Clarets from being in the dreaded Premier League drop zone.
Twenty eight of the Clarets accumulated points total of twenty nine in this current campaign have so far been earned at home. This number is unlikely to be added to in Burnley's next home fixture when Antonio Conte's runaway league leaders Chelsea visit Turf Moor on Sunday in the SKY Sunday afternoon televised clash.
Burnley must yet face another eight away ordeals as they strive to retain a place at the top table of English football. Six of those games are at the home of teams presently below them in the Premier League rankings.
If Burnley are to survive they simply must pick up some points at Hull, Swansea, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. As the season pans out these fixtures will be regarded as veritable "six pointers" for the respective home teams and Burnley must be ready to face these challenges head on.
A continuing reliance on home form is a dangerous game to play for a Burnley team who may yet find their current quite brilliant home form undermined by their lack of punch on their travels. (TEC).