(Reuters) – Relegation-threatened Burnley are mentally ready and united as their battle for Premier League survival enters its moment of truth, interim manager Mike Jackson said ahead of Thursday’s match at Aston Villa.
Burnley occupy the final relegation place in 18th spot with 34 points but have a game in hand of 17th-placed Leeds United who are one point better off.
“We know if we get a certain amount of points from these last two games it’s in our hands,” Jackson told reporters on Tuesday.
“This group works better when we play in the now, mentally we’re in a good place. Everybody in the whole place is trying to do their bit, everyone is all in.”
Burnley lost 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday courtesy of a harshly-awarded penalty converted by Harry Kane.
“It’s done now and I said what I needed to,” Jackson said of the decision.
“I was annoyed with it but I didn’t want to take away from what was a really strong performance from the group on Sunday.”
Jackson also provided an update on the fitness of the injured quartet of Jay Rodriguez, James Tarkowski, Johann Gudmundsson and Ben Mee.
“Jay is stepping up now, there’s a possibility for him, Tarky is on the grass stepping things up, as are Ben and Johann,” Jackson said. “They’re all out running and going through fitness tests so it’s a big boost for the group.”
This will be Burnley and Villa’s second league meeting in 10 days. Burnley were beaten 3-1 by Villa on May 7, in a match which was scheduled to take place in December but was postponed due to COVID-19.
Burnley will end their campaign with a home match against Newcastle United on Sunday.
(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Martyn Herman)