This group’s been in these sort of situations before
Burnley travel to Aston Villa tonight and come up against Steven Gerrard, the Villa manager, for the second time in under two weeks.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game, Gerrard said: “I’m not sure how Burnley are going to approach it, whether they’re going to come with the attitude of it’s a must win game or whether they’ll come with the attitude that a point might be enough for them.
“We’ll definitely respect that Burnley are going to be the best version of themselves and it will definitely be a challenge. We know their strengths. They’ve been really strong under the new manager, and they’ve given themselves a decent chance of survival. They’re going to be all in and they’re going to empty it at Villa Park, so we need to compete and match that in all departments and hopefully our quality will come through.”
Now in charge for a seventh game, Michael Jackson suffered his first defeat at the hands of Villa and said: “We learnt a lot as a group. I learnt a lot as well about myself regarding what the game was and what it was asking. We know that now, we knew that on the day, but you learn these little things afterwards sometimes. In the moment, they don’t always go the way that you want them to.
“You pick the bones out of it as always, and there are things we could’ve done better on the day, but we still created chances, so you take the good out of what we did moving into Thursday.
“We’ve found that our best performances have come when we just focus on what’s actually needed in the game. You’re attacking the moment and attacking the next thing in the game when that happens. It allows you to move from movement to movement in a game and be calm. It sounds a bit boring but that’s what keeps your focus on where you need to be and it’s what keeps you on task.
“It’s in our hands, we know that, but we don’t look too far ahead. This group works best when it just focuses on the here and now. That’s the way we’ve always tried to approach it and mentally, we’re in a good place now because of that.”
He added: “This group’s been in these sort of situations before. They’ve been through these spells, so I think there’s a bit of calmness which comes with that. When you’ve been through it before, you know what’s important and what you need to focus on.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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