Burnley caretaker coach Mike Jackson says the players appear to have responded well to Sean Dyche’s sacking as they prepare to host Southampton in the Premier League on Thursday (Burnley 8/5, Draw 23/10, Southampton 17/10 – Match Result).
The Clarets board made the shock decision to sack Dyche last Friday, and Jackson and a newly-formed team managed to pick up a draw against West Ham two days later.
Burnley (13/8 to stay up) have only won four games all season, and they remain five points from safety, although they do have seven matches left to play.
While Burnley have yet to appoint a replacement for Dyche, Jackson believes his sudden departure has given the players a much-needed wake-up call.
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He told reporters: “That can be a trigger for a team. It gives them a jolt. They think, “This is where we’re at. What do we do now? Do we sit and wallow or do we come together and take on that challenge?” From what I’ve seen so far, that’s what they’ve done.
“I have been pleased with the players, and you are always looking to see how players respond to what is around them, and the response we have seen in training, and within the game, when you have been in football a long time, you get a feel for the group and how they are feeling.
“It is like a sixth sense, and you can judge a dressing room, and at the moment, I can see a group pulling together.”
Jackson will be unable to call upon the services of midfielder Ashley Westwood due to a serious ankle injury, while Ben Mee, Erik Pieters and Johann Berg Gudmundsson remain on the sidelines.
Southampton’s only absentee is goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will be hoping to move up to ninth if they collect all three points.
The Saints ended a six-match winless run last weekend when they beat Arsenal 1-0, but they have only won back-to-back league games on two occasions this season.
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