Skipper out to derail City again to aid survival bid

Burnley's Michael Keane, left, celebrate the draw against Manchester City with team-mate Jason Shackell''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football - Barclays Premiership - Manchester City v Burnley - Sunday 28th December 2014 - Etihad Stadium - Manchester''� CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Burnley's Michael Keane, left, celebrate the draw against Manchester City with team-mate Jason Shackell''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football - Barclays Premiership - Manchester City v Burnley - Sunday 28th December 2014 - Etihad Stadium - Manchester''� CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

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Clarets skipper Jason Shackell sees no reason why Burnley can’t halt Manchester City in their tracks again on Saturday.

And he remains convinced Burnley will retain their Premier League status.

Champions City come to Turf Moor tomorrow, with 10 games left for the Clarets to climb out of the bottom three.

However, after coming from 2-0 down to draw at the Etihad Stadium in December - and taking points off leaders Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton - Shackell feels anything is possible.

He said: “We’ve caused a few problems for some of the teams at the top end of the table, so we’re not writing off any games. We’ve got a tough little run coming up, but again they’re games that we’re looking forward to playing in.

“We’ve got three of them at home and we’re hopeful we can get a point or two. That will be our aim and if we can stay in contention to the end, you never know what can happen.

“One of the most frustrating things about this season is that we’ve maybe performed better when we’ve played against the bigger teams, than against the teams we should be competing against.

“But we’re confident.

“We have played well against some of the top teams and again we’re going to have a few more opportunities in the next few games. If we can pick up a few points, it keeps us in contention and it will be in our own hands come the last little run of five or six games.”

Shackell played the last 11 games of the season for Norwich 10 years ago - his only previous taste of the Premier League - and although the Canaries were relegated on the final day, they stayed in contention, with the help of a 2-0 win against United at Carrow Road, and he admitted: “Towards the end of the season funny results do happen, everyone’s battling for something pretty much, no matter where you are in the table.

“We’ve already taken a point off City, a point off Chelsea, a point off United, three points off Southampton.

“There’s no reason why we can’t take a few more points off some of these teams in the next run. If it keeps us in the pack, then we go into the teams that are in and around us, then that’s all we can ask for, if it’s in our own hands then it’s down to us to get the points on the board.”

This time last year, everyone outside the town was wondering whether Burnley’s promotion charge would flounder, and he sees similarities: “Everyone was writing us off still probably with 10 games to go last year: Will they do it? Will they fall away?

“It’s the same this year. People think ‘they look like they’re out of it’. It’s probably just a bit more added fuel for us to prove everybody wrong.

“Can we stay in the league?

“I’m confident that every player in that dressing room believes we can, and I believe we can. I believe we’ve got the quality, we’re playing well, we’re a difficult team to play against, and I still believe we’re going to get enough points to stay up.”

Shackell knows the pain of the drop from a decade ago, but he feels, while the standard remains high, no-one can touch the Arsenal side of that season, who finished as Invincibles the previous campaign and beat his Norwich side 4-1 at Highbury: “It’s pretty similar to be fair.

“We took a couple of spankings the last time I was in the league.

“You had (Thierry) Henry, (Didier) Drogba when he was really in his prime. The Arsenal one always stands out for me at Highbury. They were a special, special team.

“The big teams are still very, very good teams, but for me, playing against the likes of Henry - he was a different level.

“This league is where you want to play, it’s where you want to be.”

And it has been a special campaign regardless for the 31-year-old, who has been an ever-present in the league: “This definitely means more to me. I’ve played from the start of the season so far up until now, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m captain of the team.

“You do feel that extra bit of responsibility and you want the lads to stay in the league, it’s as simple as that. I want to stay in the league, the lads want to stay in the league, it would be great for the club, great for the fans.”