Burnley’s strong mentality to thank for form in relegation fight, says interim boss Mike Jackson

The Clarets’ fightback lifted the club five points clear of the bottom three and all-but relegated their opponents.

Sonia Twigg
Saturday 30 April 2022 18:49 BST
Mike Jackson’s Burnley came from behind to win (Martin Rickett/PA)
Mike Jackson’s Burnley came from behind to win (Martin Rickett/PA)

Interim Burnley boss Mike Jackson insisted there has been “no magic wand” after his side’s impressive climb up the table continued with a 2-1 comeback victory at Watford.

The Clarets’ fightback lifted the club five points clear of the bottom three and all-but relegated their opponents, who sit 12 points from safety with four games to go. The result confirmed Norwich’s relegation.

An own goal from James Tarkowski had provided a glimmer of hope for the Hornets but Burnley found a late leveller, with Jack Cork heading in an 83rd-minute equaliser before Josh Brownhill’s strike completed the turnaround for the visitors.

Burnley have now won three games in a row and Jackson insisted he has not done anything special to secure those victories.

“I would say that (it’s just about confidence),” Jackson said.

“I’d say you get those results, you get that more belief, a bit more feeling about yourself and the group starts to come together, they know what’s at stake and obviously everything builds with that.

“There’s been no magic wand whatsoever, it’s just reminding the players who they are and making sure they stick together as a group, stay honest, look after each other and that’s the way we try to do it.”

Since parting company with Sean Dyche Burnley’s turnaround has been remarkable, with the Clarets taking 10 points from four games.

Jackson credits his side’s togetherness for their fight from 1-0 down to winning 2-1.

He added: “I think you can see obviously you get the first goal and the second goal as well and it’s just mayhem, but that’s this group, that’s what they do – people give them criticism for other things but what you can never criticise them for is that team spirit and that togetherness which means a lot.”

Watford are all-but relegated, and need to win their remaining four matches to have any hope of staying in the top flight, a run of victories they have not achieved so far this season.

Hornets assistant manager Ray Lewington admitted there was a fear factor at the club that has hindered their progress since Roy Hodgson took over in January.

“There’s a massive fear factor here, which we found since we first came in, particularly at home and that comes from losing matches,” said Lewington.

“There’s a fear factor at any club when you’re losing lots of matches, which Watford have been doing.

“I thought today you could see it at its extreme. In the first half we were on the front foot, playing in the opposition’s half, creating chances and looking good and the crowd were really good, getting behind us. And we went in at half-time fairly pleased.

“We start sitting back, then you allow balls to go into the box a lot easier and then you’re playing Russian roulette, that you can defend those crosses, which we didn’t do.

“And you could see visibly how much we’ve dropped off at the end and I’m afraid that’s caused us the defeat.”

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