We can pull off an ‘incredible’ escape, insists Burnley boss Mike Jackson
Regardless of what happens at Villa Park on Thursday night, the relegation drop will play out until the final day of the season.
But, having won just one win in their opening 21 league games, if the Clarets win a seventh consecutive season at this level, it would be a remarkable story.
Much has been made of the turnaround for Sunday’s opponents Newcastle United since December, when they recorded their first victory of the season on the 15th attempt, over Burnley at St James’ Park.
No team had ever stayed on their feet after failing to win their first 14 games, but the Magpies come to Turf Moor on 46 points, two behind Brighton in 10th, with former Clarets boss Eddie Howe named manager of the ‘year.
Jackson was asked, would it be such an incredible escape if Burnley survived?
“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, they know that’s the end result.
“That would be great, but we know we still have a lot of work to do.”
There would be obvious financial implications if Burnley were to be relegated, but Jackson would prefer to see it in terms of what can be achieved instead: “No, you know there are 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 to look at it that way, I think then your character feeds off of other people.
“You wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning if you thought about it (finances), I try not to, I try to keep it level and keep it real.
“It comes down to what you can control, we can only control what we do, how we work, how we prepare, and then it’s delivering the performance.
“We clearly know what we have to do.”
There’s a bigger picture, though, and Jackson added, “You can’t hide it. Everyone knows that.
“But we talked about what we have to do, what is important for us, how to attack what we are doing.
“Guys know it’s there. But we’re at our best if we stay focused on what we’re doing now.
“I know it sounds a bit boring, but you have to do it, it keeps you focused on your task, it keeps you where you need to be. Don’t gamble what’s going to happen or what’s going to happen. happened before.”
Burnley have the oldest team in the Premier League this season – so will that experience matter? .
“The most important 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.”