A REFUSAL to panic saw Burnley emerge with a big three points on Saturday.
Keeper Lee Grant epitomised the calm shown by the side as they went in a goal down to Bristol City at Turf Moor, despite dominating the first half.
After moving into a 2-1 lead in the second period, he produced heroics to keep out a late Steven Davies penalty, before a third goal sealed the win in injury time.
The Clarets started the game in 13th place, but only four points from the last relegation
spot, but ended the day 11th, seven clear of trouble, and eight adrift of the play-offs.
Grant said: “I won’t lie and say I wasn’t looking over my shoulder going into the game because I think you’d be naïve to not be aware of what’s going on.
“That made the game even bigger really, but we stayed calm at half-time and we got the right result.
“From now on, having got those three points we can really try to achieve our goals and pick up as many points as we can between now and the end of the season.”
And he hailed the input of manager Sean Dyche: “There wasn’t any anxiety beforehand, which was good. We’ve certainly been guilty of that a few times this season, but we stayed calm and the manager did a really good job of keeping the lads calm.
“It was a positive changing room at half-time and it could have been the opposite looking at how the game stood.
“But it was really calm and we were sure of what we were going to do. Looking at how Bristol City have performed late on in games over the course of this season it gave us a bit more of a lift as well.
“We did the right thing and didn’t panic and got an early goal, which was needed and the rest followed on.”
The key moment came 10 minutes from time when, after goals from Jason Shackell and Chris McCann had put Burnley in front, Joseph Mills brought down Albert Adomah - who scored the opening goal of the game - to hand the Robins the chance to equalise from the spot.
Grant saved his second spot kick of four faced this season, however, and he smiled: “It was a big moment at the time that it came during the game. I was really pleased I saved it.
“I was disappointed with the Forest one on Monday because that came and went and I put a bit of work in in between.
“I’ve probably neglected it a bit actually. It’s been a while since we had a penalty and sometimes you almost forget when it’s a small detail.
“I’ve put some good work in with Deano, Mills, Rosco and Charlie obviously on Friday and it paid off.
“I was just pleased to get a good read on it and a good strong arm. I had Baz (Barry O’Brien) the groundsman behind me, he usually gives me a heads up on which side they’re going to go at half-time penalties wise and he was right again so big thanks to him
“I just felt with the timing of the game and how important the penalty was he might just be a little more likely to put his foot through it. I knew it had to be a strong arm.”
Meanwhile, Grant remains hopeful his future will be at Turf Moor, with his contract due to expire in the summer: “We’re getting there. It’s not a quick process by any means.
“It’s been well documented the club are looking to tighten their belts slightly and players are having to take a drop and I’m no different in that sense.
“It’s obviously something that has to be thought about a lot from my part as well, there’s a lot of work going into it behind the scenes, but we’re getting there.
“I would like it sorted by the end of the season. I’ve got a young family and you don’t want to be disappearing on your holidays without a football club. I would like it sorted.”
l Burnley winger Dane Richards has been sent out on loan to Norwegian Division Two side FK Bodø/Glimt on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 29-year-old Jamaican international, who joined the Clarets from Canadian outfit Vancouver Whitecaps in January, has since made two substitute appearances.
Former New York Red Bulls wide man Richards, who signed an 18-month contract with Burnley, will join the Norwegians until July 9th.
Richards was signed by former boss Eddie Howe before his return to Bournemouth, but his Turf Moor future now very much looks in doubt.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche explained: “Dane was unbeknown to us when he came in.
“The club had already signed him when I was appointed and we feel we have given him a fair time to try and get used to it and give him a little taste for it.
“We just thought he was short to be honest for what we needed, so the idea of a loan is get Dane out playing again and get him some game time.”