Mike Jackson keeping attention on relegation battle, not full-time Burnley job

Jackson has taken 11 points from seven games to put Burnley’s fate in their own hands

Ian Parker
Saturday 21 May 2022 22:30
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Mike Jackson insisted he had given no thought to his own future amid Burnley’s relegation battle (Martin Rickett/PA)
Mike Jackson insisted he had given no thought to his own future amid Burnley’s relegation battle (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mike Jackson has given no thought to what his job situation might be come Monday morning as he puts everything into Burnley’s relegation decider against Newcastle on Sunday.

Jackson, 48, stepped up from his role as the under-23s boss when Sean Dyche was abruptly sacked last month.

He has taken 11 points from seven games to put Burnley’s fate in their own hands when they host the Magpies on the final day, needing to match Leeds’ result at Brentford to stay up.

Such has been the rejuvenation at Turf Moor in the last few weeks that Jackson should be considered a candidate for the full-time job himself, even though he has consistently downplayed that suggestion.

“I’ve just not thought about that at all,” he said. “All my thoughts have been how can we achieve what we want to do.

“We’ve not spoken about it. We’ve not had time to even think about that. My full focus has been on trying to achieve this.

“Let’s see what happens on Monday morning. Fingers crossed everything goes how we want, then we’ll have a good Monday.”

Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Villa Park lifted Burnley out of the relegation zone, level on points with 18th-placed Leeds but with a vastly superior goal difference. That means they need to match or better Leeds’ result away to Brentford to secure another season of top-flight football.

Jackson will be kept up to date on the score at the Brentford Community Stadium, but wants Burnley to take care of themselves.

“It’s very difficult,” he said. “We’ll speak about that and how we think we can go about it, but I think if you just try and win your game first and foremost, can you try and do your job, and then as it goes along you might see something with the scorelines, but it’s very difficult.

“There’s going to be a lot of emotion around. It’s about reminding them to keep their focus on what they’re doing. If you start thinking about other things and getting carried away…you’ve got to keep the intensity levels right.”

And when it comes to intensity, Jackson also wants to make sure that is a message heard by the fans should Burnley be successful in their mission.

After a number of incidents involving pitch invasions this week, there are fears of a repeat at Turf Moor, where managers from both sides must cross the pitch to reach the tunnel – with the potential for something similar to the moment when Patrick Vieira was confronted by Everton supporters on Thursday.

Jackson said there was little clubs could do to stop pitch invasions if enough fans were determined to take part, but said supporters must celebrate in the right way.

“Every club tries to stop it but it’s very hard,” he said. “The utmost is the safety of the players, the managers and the people on the pitch – that goes for the crowd as well.

“A little lad could be on there with his dad, you’ve got to think like that.

“Try and enjoy it, and just be sensible. We’re talking about a couple of incidents, a couple of people. It doesn’t mean the whole stadium, the whole crowd, but one person can spoil it for the rest.”

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