Burnley caretaker manager Mike Jackson has told his players to go back to basics in their bid to beat the Premier League drop.
Jackson and his interim coaching team took a point from Sunday’s 1-1 draw at West Ham barely 48 hours after Sean Dyche’s shock sacking, and will be in charge again when Southampton visit Turf Moor on Thursday night.
With little time to prepare for that match, Jackson said he did little to change things tactically and it will be the same again on Thursday as he encourages the players to draw on the approach that has kept the Clarets in the top flight for six years.
“I think you’ve got to draw on those values, definitely,” he said. “It’s just about making little tweaks that you see against different opponents. It’s nothing revolutionary. It’s a set of values, a set of principles that a lot of teams use.
“It’s not rocket science. It’s simple things done really well, the basics.”
Burnley’s players were still digesting the news that Dyche’s nine-and-a-half-year reign was over when they kicked off at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but responded well in the first half, leading through Wout Weghorst’s header before Maxwel Cornet missed a penalty.
But that miss proved crucial and they needed late saves from Nick Pope to earn a point after Tomas Soucek levelled.
“I expected the response,” he said. “I didn’t know how it would affect them when they actually hit the grass because you never know.
“But we started the game really well, we had a good portion of that first half. In terms of moments, there wasn’t that much in it. We had some good chances.”
There was no better chance than Cornet’s penalty miss before the break. The Ivorian, who was brought down by Lukasz Fabianski, took the ball off Jay Rodriguez but after sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with a stuttering run-up, he dragged his spot-kick wide.
It came a week after Cornet missed from close range during the 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals Norwich, but Jackson said the 25-year-old was not letting the incidents get to him.
“He is a positive character,” he said. “I don’t think it really affects him. He just wants to play football, he’s not bothered about everything that goes around it.
“He likes to try and express himself and try to play. He’s not scared of trying things. When you play at the top end of the pitch that’s what you need to do, to try things and express yourself.”
Jackson said he had no news on Burnley’s ongoing managerial search, and did not yet know if he would still be in charge when Wolves visit on Sunday.
The 48-year-old joked he was managing to enjoy the job despite too many hours in the “batcave” analysing video, and has managed to shut out any thoughts about what the future might hold once a permanent successor to Dyche is named.
“I think it just comes through experience over the years,” he said. “That’s what you have to do. Sometimes when you’re younger you try and focus on too many things happening around you.
“As you get older you think about what’s most important thing I need to focus on today and that’s we try and move from day to day.”