Burnley interim manager Mike Jackson believes his players are remembering “who they are” after boosting their survival chances with a 2-1 win over Watford.
Since the sacking of Sean Dyche, Jackson has been tasked with driving Burnley away from the relegation zone. He has been doing a good job while in caretaker charge. In fact, they have now won three games in a row.
They came from behind to claim the latest of those on Saturday afternoon. James Tarkowski had put the ball into his own net in the first half, but Jack Cork and Josh Brownhill scored in the last 10 minutes to secure a turnaround.
it means Burnley are now five points clear of 18th-placed Everton, who have two games in hand.
Survival is looking more likely than it was a few weeks ago. Jackson thinks the group of players are rediscovering the characteristics that made them so stable under Dyche before.
jackson told Match of the Day: “We are delighted with the result and the second-half performance. First half we were not where we needed to be.
“We knew at 1-0 the crowd might get a bit edgy and if we stick with it and get more possession we could get a back in the game.
“I don’t think we started the game well enough. The tempo we started at, we didn’t get to those levels we have done recently. We improved the quality with the ball. At this stage of the season you just have to find ways of winning games.
“These games are so emotionally charged with what is at stake; credit to them for finding a way to win the game.
“We just reminded the group who they are. There was a lot of good work before, so for me it is reminding this group who they are and making sure they deliver on the standards they are capable of.
“When I get on the train later on and maybe have a glass of wine, I might take a breather and enjoy it.”
Watford need “something spectacular” after Burnley defeat
The result had quite the opposite effect for Watford. They are now 12 points away from safety with only that amount to play for.
It seems a matter of when, not if, they will join Norwich City in returning to the Championship. That is a fact assistant manager Ray Lewington – speaking in the absence of Roy Hodgson – is aware of.
lewington awning Match of the Day: “I thought we brought it on ourselves because we played ever so well first half, on the front foot and playing in their half. But it was a case of because we have not won in so long there is a massive fear factor.
“Footballers try to protect it. They have seen the clock and the last 15-20 minutes they were almost camped on the edge of our own box. If you are allowing balls into the box, however many players you have behind the ball there will be space somewhere.
“There is a lot of disappointment. I have been in situations myself as a player, but first half we were really good and if we had added a second it might have been a different story.
“It would need something spectacular (to stay up) but there is more to play for than the points. We have got to play for our pride, we don’t want to stop playing and get embarrassed.
“We have to try and perform and to our best, for the players’ pride and the supporters. Of course it is a serious position and we know that.”
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