Privilege to manage this group - Burnley boss Mike Jackson
Burnley interim boss Mike Jackson admits he didn’t think he would be at the helm as long as he has so far.
But he insists it is a privilege to be in charge of this group of players, and work with the staff he has, as he faces up to the last four games of the season.
Jackson is up for the Premier League manager of the month award for April, having guided the side to three wins and a draw after taking over from Sean Dyche, in which time the Clarets have climbed out of the bottom three.
They sit above Leeds on goal difference and two points clear of Everton, who have a game in hand, and, after a whirlwind three weeks, Jackson, asked whether he thought he would still be in charge at this stage of the season, said: No, to be honest.
"When it happened, I thought ‘what can you do now’ – sometimes in your life you get things thrown on you, and you have to react and respond.
"I just thought about the most important thing you do now.
"But I am in a privileged situation, a chance to manage a Premier League team, with a great group of lads and a great group of staff.”
His situation remains one game at a time, as he smiled: “We are still game by game!”, but as we reach the business end of the season, he knows what is at stake: “It is well documented, it is huge, We can’t let it become a monster.
"We know how much it means to everybody, the fans and the whole club.
"We are fighting to try and achieve that, that is our whole purpose.”
Much of Jackson’s time has been spent on the training pitch or at the training ground, watching hour upon hour of video footage to prepare for each game.
But has he found time to get away from the pressure?: “I try to keep everything normal – the other day it was my lad’s 18th birthday and I was sat in the ‘Bat Cave’ (video room) and missed most of that.
"I will go and see my dad who has dementia and is in a home.
"Every time I go and see him he keeps saying ‘you’ve got a new car’ and I have to laugh. It is normal life.
“That stuff outside here is priceless.
“My phone has a few more texts on it, but I think people getting back in touch is part and parcel of it.
"People want you to do well. I think that is all it is.
“You only have to look at the fans and the response from home games and the away end (at Watford).
"We are really proud that we have got them and are lucky we have got them.”