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Burnley players feeling 'togetherness', says caretaker manager

Burnley's Jay Rodriguez heads the ball under pressure from West Ham's goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and defender Craig Dawson at London Stadium on April 17, 2022
Burnley's Jay Rodriguez heads the ball under pressure from West Ham's goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and defender Craig Dawson at London Stadium on April 17, 2022
Image: TONY OBRIEN / REUTERS

Burnley have reacted to the sacking of Sean Dyche with a sense of “togetherness”, caretaker Mike Jackson said after they drew 1-1 with West Ham United in their first match without their long-serving manager.

Burnley were on their way to taking all three points at the London Stadium after Wout Weghorst's first-half opener on Sunday but Tomas Soucek equalised in the 74th minute.

Dyche was sacked on Friday after nine-and-a-half years in charge and Jackson said the reaction from the players had been good.

“There's been a togetherness about them,” he told Sky Sports. “I think they know as well that they can improve and get better.

“I think if this time they really come together on that, they have together been for a long time, they know each other. They've been really running around each other and have been great.”

Burnley are three points from safety but have played a game more than Everton, who are just above the relegation spots in 17th.

Asked if he would be in charge until the end of the season, Jackson said, “I don't know. It was one game at a time, I am just delighted that we came through that and got a point.

“We could've got more, but we'll take that for now.”

Burnley grabbed the lead as Weghorst rose highest to nod in a rebound after Jay Rodriguez headed on to the crossbar from a corner.

That came shortly after midfielder Ashley Westwood was taken off on a stretcher after a serious right leg injury.

He's gone to hospital and we're waiting for an update. We're hoping he's OK, our thoughts are with him,” Jackson said after the game.

“You could see it wasn't good from the reaction of the players. He looked distraught, but fingers crossed ... It could be the end of his season, but there is a squad here ready to play.”

The visitors then squandered an opportunity to double their advantage as Maxwel Cornet dragged his penalty wide after a staggered run-up, having won the spot kick after a challenge by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in the box.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope ensured they did not leave London empty-handed, producing two superb late saves to deny Michail Antonio as West Ham pushed hard for a winner.

“We showed the character to come through and get a point. It's a foundation. Everyone was looking to see how we reacted and it is something for us to build on. A point in the right direction,” Pope said.

“West Ham are a top team. It's never an easy place to come to and it's good to play my part.”

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