Burnley boss Mike Jackson makes prediction for Premier League final day amid Leeds United scrap

Interim Burnley manager Mike Jackson is prepared for the fight for Premier League survival to go to the wire.

By Flora Snelson
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 6:00 am

After a win at Leicester City gave Everton a huge survival boost, Burnley and Leeds United look to be locked into a tight battle to remain in the Premier League.

The Toffees now sit now a point ahead of the two sides and could further distance themselves from the drop if they win their game in hand over already-relegated Watford on Wednesday.

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Only goal difference, meanwhile, separates the Whites from the Clarets, with Burnley's goal difference of -17 - less than half of the damage suffered by Leeds', whose season has been blighted by a horrendous defensive record - keeping the Lancashire side above the dreaded dotted line.

With three matches left to play, it could be a photo finish to determine which club will occupy the final relegation spot and compete in the Championship next season.

But Jackson isn't phased by the prospect of his side's fate being decided in the last game of the season.

"I just think at this moment, however it happens, it's about just finishing above the line," said Jackson.

Interim Burnley manager Mike Jackson. Pic: Stu Forster.

"If that means it goes to the last day, it goes to the last day. It doesn’t matter how you do it. It’s just finishing above that line.

"I can’t read the future. I could say take the last day now and then something could change but having a chance on the last day is what you want, at the least. If that’s what it is, then fine."

Last month, Jackson took on the unenviable task of guiding Burnley to safety, stepping up from his duties as Under 23 boss to take charge of the senior Clarets after former manager Sean Dyche was suddenly given the sack.

The former Shrewsbury Town boss said that his experience as a player and a coach has prepared him well for high-pressure scenarios.

The departure of former Burnley boss Sean Dyche has led to an upturn in fortunes at Turf Moof. Pic: Glyn Kirk.

"I’ve done this since I was 17, been involved in football and coaching," he said. "That’s part of the world you live in; you’ve got to know how to get through setbacks or you don’t stay in it, don’t coach in it either.

"I don’t think it’s nerves. When you’re in football, and I’ve had it since the day I started, you have this thing in your stomach.

"It sits there as a player, it sits there as a coach and it means you’re ready, means you’re alert, focused."

After the major upheaval of Dyche's departure, Burnley went on a surprise run of great form, massively increasing their chances of survival by taking ten points from four games.

Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill reacts to defeat to Aston Villa. Pic: Gareth Copley.

On Sunday, their purple patch came to an end with a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, but Jackson said his side will put it quickly behind them.

"You’re going to get these types of moments during a season, it’s human nature," Jackson said. "You’re not all of a sudden bullet-proof.

"We’ve proven that in the four games before; we’ve come though everything - came from behind, got pegged back by West Ham, held onto a lead.

"We lost a game and we focus on the next one now."