We can pull off "incredible" escape, insists Burnley boss Mike Jackson

Should Burnley stave off the drop on Sunday, it would be an “incredible” escape, insists interim boss Mike Jackson.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 10:30 pm

Regardless of what happens at Villa Park on Thursday night, the relegation scrap will go down to the last day of the season.

But, having claimed only one win in their first 21 league games, if the Clarets do earn a seventh-successive season at this level, it would be a remarkable story.

Much has been made of Sunday’s opponents Newcastle United’s turnaround since December, when they recorded their first win of the season at the 15th attempt, at the expense of Burnley at St James’ Park.

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Burnley's Irish defender Nathan Collins (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on April 21, 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 Oli SCARFF / 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 OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

No team had ever stayed up after failing to win their opening 14 fixtures, but the Magpies come to Turf Moor with 46 points, two short of Brighton in 10th, with former Clarets boss Eddie Howe nominated for manager of the year.

Jackson was asked, would it be a similarly incredible escape if Burnley survive?: "It would be, it's what everyone wants to achieve, it's why everyone is putting in so much hard work to try and do that.

"It would mean a lot to a lot of people.

"But we know there's a lot of hard work ahead, and this group is used to working hard, it knows that is the bottom line.

"It would be brilliant, but we know we have a lot of work to do still.”

There would be obvious financial implications if Burnley are to be relegated, but Jackson would rather look at it in terms of what can be achieved instead: “No, you know there's implications if you don't stay up, but, again, why not look at it in terms of opportunities and possibilities rather than that?

"I think you have to try and look at it that way, I think then your persona feeds to other people.

"You wouldn't get out of bed in a morning if you thought about that (finances), I try not to, I try to keep it level and keep it real.

"It comes back to what you can control, we can only control what we're doing, how we work, how we prepare, and then it's delivering the performances.

"We're clear in what we need to do.”

There is a bigger picture, however, and Jackson added: "You can't hide it. Everyone knows it.

"But we've spoken about what do we need to do, what's important to us, how do we attack what we're doing.

"The lads know it's there. But we're at our best if we just keep that focus on what we're doing now.

"I know it sounds a bit boring but you've got to do that, it keeps you on task, it keeps you where you need to be. Play now not what's going to happen or what's happened before.”

Burnley have the oldest squad in the Premier League this season – so will that experience be important?: “Yeah, I think this thing about the group ageing, you’ve got a group of guys there who are trying to put that to one side.

“The biggest thing is their experience, I think that’s a good thing, because these guys have been through a lot, not just here, but in their careers.

"They know what’s needed, they’ve been around the block. There’s a strong group in there.

“I think the experience can only help them.”