EPL

Vincent Kompany says Burnley will ‘keep fighting’

By Sports Desk April 03, 2024

Vincent Kompany has promised his Burnley team will fight until the end in their battle against relegation and believes there is still more to come from his players this season.

The Clarets extended their unbeaten run to four games but could not earn what might have been a crucial win as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves on Tuesday night, with Rayan Ait-Nouri cancelling out Jacob Bruun Larsen’s fine volley.

The gap to safety grew to six points with seven games left to play, but with a trip to fellow strugglers Everton up next on Saturday, Kompany will keep believing.

“I’m fairly confident our team is a team of improvement, we can get better and I want them to continue doing that,” Kompany said.

“It’s not surprising at all that we are where we are but, OK, that’s in the past. It’s what the next game brings. Start the game with confidence we can do something.

“I don’t conceive a moment this season where we won’t keep fighting.”

For Wolves, the draw moved them on to 42 points, surpassing last season’s total with eight games left to play.

They sit three points behind seventh-placed West Ham with a game in hand, and two points behind Newcastle having played the same number.

In a season which began with questions over whether or not they had the resources to compete, earning European football for next campaign remains a very realistic target despite a recent glut of injuries.

“There’s never been a top-seven focus, just finish as high as we can,” Gary O’Neil said. “I would love us to finish in the top seven, the lads would love to finish in the top seven and they’re pushing as hard as they can.

“Obviously it has just been made more difficult but that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve it.”

Wolves have been particularly depleted in attack, lately relying on the goals of usual left-back Ait-Nouri, who scored for the third time in four games.

Teenage striker Leon Chiwome led the line at Turf Moor in only his second Premier League appearance, and although Matheus Cunha came off the bench to make his first appearance since mid-February the likes of Pedro Neto, Hee Chan Hwang, and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde remain out.

O’Neil said he had seen such problems coming during the January window because of the amount he was asking of the club’s small squad, but financial constraints meant they could do nothing to mitigate the situation.

“We are missing some very good players which makes it difficult to get results in the Premier League,” he said.

“It’s a tough situation and a bit of me is disappointed that we got into such an unbelievable position and then the injuries have caught up with us.

“We told the club in January that we were overloading the players – I felt our injury record would get worse and that we could suffer a couple of injuries in the top line that would make a huge difference.

“We had a Premier League number nine lined up and a small amount of money stopped us doing it. You can see why the club’s aim was to stay in the Premier League.

“I’m trying to pick a starting eleven from about 12 outfield players – I doubt there’s another club who are like that. Unbelievable credit to the lads in there. It’s a special group.”

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