It’s all looking “promising” for captain Pickup

Daniel Pickup for Burnley in their game against Colne
Daniel Pickup for Burnley in their game against Colne

Burnley skipper Dan Pickup has described the club’s position as “promising” after climbing up to second in the Lancashire League table.

Victory over Rishton at Blackburn Road tomorrow could see Burnley top the division, though that’s all dependent on how Darwen fare at home to Great Harwood.

“It’s still early days; there’s a long way to go,” said Pickup. “We want to keep this run going until the end of the first phase and go from there.

“There are four or five games left until the league splits. We’re in a pretty decent position heading in to the second half of the season.

“We’re joint second with East Lancs and Darwen have just snuck ahead. It’s really tight and there’s not much between a number of teams. Clitheroe and East Lancs both lost, it just keeps ebbing and flowing.”

He added: “Everything seems to have clicked now. We’ve had some really impressive performances, as good as I’ve seen, and they’ve brought some good wins.

“It’s very promising and we’ve put ourselves in a good position. It’s always good to be in with a shout.”

That, however, doesn’t even scratch the surface of what the club could achieve this term and this weekend could prove incredibly defining.

It all starts with a ‘must win’ Twenty20 fixture over Enfield at Turf Moor with success for either side securing safe passage from the Pride of Pendle Group to the knockout stages of the competition.

“We’ve got to win on Friday,” Pickup said. “We’re third in the group and the top three go through. It’s a ‘must win’ game really. We are above Enfield at the moment but whoever wins qualifies.

“We can still go out but we can still finish top of the group. It’s wide open. It’s an evenly-matched group so we’ve got to go out and do the business.

“It’s at our place so we’re confident but we know anything can happen in the Twenty20. It’s a bit of a lottery at times.”

The cherry on a ridiculously over-sized cake could then see Burnley through to the quarter-finals of the LCB Knockout Cup.

Ahead of a home tie against Horwich, with a spot in the final eight versus Egerton or Lytham as the prize, Pickup said: “It’s a chance for us to reach the quarter-final of the competition.

“We just want to stay in every competition for as long as we can. We’re at home against Horwich, who Holty was sub-professional for so he’s got a bit of knowledge about them. They’ll be a good side but we’re confident that we’ll have enough.”