Josh Brownhill confident Burnley can stay up, even after 'heartbreaking' late wins for Leeds and Everton
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The Clarets, in 19th, are four points adrift of safety, following Everton’s injury time win over Newcastle United last Thursday, and eight behind Leeds United in 16th, although they have three games in hand over the Whites.
Leeds, after six-straight defeats which helped seal Marcelo Bielsa’s fate, have since won their last two games at the death under American Jesse Marsch, beating Norwich City before coming from 2-0 down at Wolves to triumph 3-2 last Friday night after Raul Jimenez’s harsh dismissal.
Brownhill admits those results were “heart-breaking”, but his only focus remains on Burnley’s performances and results, with 11 games to play.
The next one could hardly be less daunting, as champions and league leaders Manchester City come to Turf Moor a week on Saturday.
But Brownhill said: "I did watch the games, and it was a bit heart-breaking watching the Leeds game, to be honest – and Everton nicked a win – but for me, because it's not right at the end of the season, it's still up to us.
"If we win our games coming up, which we're capable of - we've got some teams around us, Watford. Norwich, Everton - and we've got teams like Southampton, West Ham, Wolves still to play, who we've had results against in the past.
"So there's no stress, we've still got games where we can get ourselves out of it, we still have some games in hand on teams, so it's more about focusing on our game and knowing we definitely have enough to win these games, and have done in the past.”
Burnley have lost their last three games, after a fine run of one defeat in eight games gave their survival hopes a real boost.
And Brownhill insisted: "I don't see why we can't pick up points.
"The run we had was really positive, and after that we haven't had good results, but we’ve been in every game - Leicester we had a good few chances and conceded in the last 10 minutes, same as Brentford.
"We missed three really good chances there, and then they scored two in the last 10 minutes.
"The performances weren't far off our levels, but we didn't get that bit of luck.
"There are still games left, and if we perform as we did in that run, especially that big week against Brighton, Tottenham and Palace, then I'm 100% confident we'll get out of it.”
The story of the season has been a failure to convert chances, amplifying any slips at the other end, but the former Bristol City man believes if the side can get their noses in front – as against Brighton and Spurs – they are hard to break down.
However, goals have been a problem – Burnley’s top scorer is Maxwel Cornet with six goals, and only Norwich, with 18, have scored fewer goals than the Clarets’ 22 so far.
Brownhill has one to his name, in the win at Brighton, and said: "It sounds so simple, but that's why strikers get all the money because putting the ball in the net is the hardest thing to do in the game.
"With the chances we've had, we're disappointed we haven't scored more, I feel when we score first, we're a difficult team to play against.
"We just need to get that goal, but I'm still positive, we have really good players, good strikers, and hopefully we can get out of it.”
After the City game, the Premier League have sandwiched in the re-arranged clash with Frank Lampard’s Everton at Turf Moor on Wednesday, April 6th, which is followed by a trip to bottom side Norwich on the Sunday.
That could be a pivotal week for Burnley’s hopes of earninga seventh-successive season at this level, and Brownhill added: "Everton is going to be huge – overall, if the performance is good, win or lose against City, that will be a positive going into that game.
"Ultimately, that is a massive game, and if we can get something against City, that will be a big confidence boost, and I'm pretty sure they (Everton) won't want to play us because what we have at the bottom is we're a team and work really hard, and are together, and we've been in this before.
"We know what it takes to get out – it might be taking a little longer this time, but we've got what it takes and I'm full of confidence we will."
Burnley have only won three games all season, but, having lost their last three, their 12 defeats are three fewer than Aston Villa in ninth.
They have only lost one game by more than a two-goal margin, against Chelsea, and Brownhill believes the quality of the Premier League has increased this term: “This year, the standard has gone up a notch, and maybe that's why it's taking longer for us to get out.
"We've just got to believe in ourselves and work hard as a team.
"As soon as you lose that, it's very difficult.
"If you watch our games, we always work hard and are together, we've not been battered this season – probably just that spell against Chelsea - but that's the experience we have down there, not to stress if you do go 1-0 down, you can still get chances.”