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FOOTBALL: BACK OFF, SAYS BURR.

Byline: DEREK BROWN

NUNEATON BOROUGH boss Steve Burr today brushed aside rumours that his job is on the line.

Burr insists there is no real pressure on him as his mandate at the start of the season was to keep the club in the Nationwide Conference and he is certain that will be achieved.

A disappointing run of one win in 11 outings has seen Boro slip to 10th in the table, but with 11 games remaining and just seven points required to virtually ensure survival, they look set to book their place in non- league's top division for a fourth season in a row.

Burr said: "Why should I fear for my job? Accepted our recent form has not been what I would liked - but when people mention we're nine points away from the relegation zone, I look at it more positively and say we're just four away from the top six.

"I was told it was vital to stay in the Conference and I've got no worries that'll be achieved. It's important to take into account that we've had to tighten the purse strings while the excellent start we had built up people's hopes and when they don't come to fruition it's bitterly disappointing.

"We will be aiming to win our last 11 games, although the main consideration at the moment is to get to 47 points as quickly as possible, hopefully in the next three fixtures."

Burr reckons the traumas with strikers this term has also had a big effect on Boro's recent performances.

He added: "The lack of a natural goalscorer has been our main problem. Steve Whitehall left the club because of travel problems and Marc McGregor's been out for most of the season injured while Gary Birch has also undergone a recent knee operation.

"I'm sure things would have been so different if we could have kept Paul Barnes. He came to us at the end of last season and made a big impact, scoring 10 goals in virtually as many games.

"He's one of those players who will get you 20 goals-plus a season, but we couldn't compete with Doncaster Rovers financially."

On Saturday Barnes returns to town looking to help fourth placed Doncaster keep their outside championship hopes alive.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 27, 2002
Words:377
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