Burnley boss Mike Jackson having to hold back walking wounded ahead of final games against Aston Villa and Newcastle

Burnley’s walking wounded are prepared to put their bodies on the line for the club’s Premier League survival fight.

By Chris Boden
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 3:00 pm

With two games remaining, at Aston Villa on Thursday night, and at home to Newcastle United on Sunday, interim boss Mike Jackson is waiting on the fitness of a number of key players.

But all have put their hands up to declare themselves available if needs must.

Jay Rodriguez has missed the last three games with a hamstring problem, with James Tarkowski sitting out the defeat at Spurs with a similar issue.

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Burnley's English defender and caretaker manager Ben Mee attends the warm up seesion prior to the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Burnley at the London Stadium, in London on April 17, 2022. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Skipper Ben Mee has been out since early March with a hairline fracture to his fibula, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson has not kicked a ball since January after appendicitis and a calf tear.

Erik Pieters and Dale Stephens were also missing at Tottenham with slight niggles, but all, bar long term absentees Ashley Westwood and Matej Vydra, are ready to fight for the cause if required.

Jackson said: "Jay Rod is stepping up now, so there's a possibility maybe for him.

"Tarky has been on the grass today, stepping things up.

"So has Ben, Johann as well.

"Erik is off the grass at the moment, and Dale, who was more a precaution thing, as well.

"They are all out running, which is really good, going through fitness tests, so if we can get them back for these two games, whether it's this one or the last one, that would be a big boost to the group.

"There are probably five or six lads in there who have said 'I'll give it a go, I'm ready' - I’m being deadly serious, they are willing to put themselves out on a limb whether they feel 100% or haven't trained as much as they have wanted, but that's what I'm getting back.

"We've obviously got to be careful managing them, but there's no one going 'it's not for me this.'”

Burnley lined up with three centre backs at Spurs, despite the absence of Mee and Tarkowski, and asked whether the pair could make Villa, Jackson added: "We don't know at this moment in time, I think Tarky has more of a chance than Ben, Ben is on the grass but has been out a long time, Tarky has been out 10 days.

"We've got to be careful with Ben and look at both games to make sure we make the right decision, not just for the team, but the lads themselves.

"You're looking at what might happen Thursday and you have to consider Sunday as well.

"When we get more information back from the medical, we'll have to make those decisions.”