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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Sheffield United v Burnley: Kompany says Bramall Lane clash is ‘must-win’

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany admits Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United is “must-win” for his side as they seek a way out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The Clarets have won just one of their last 15 league games, a run that has seen them slip six points from safety with just five games remaining.

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Given the remaining games are against European hopefuls Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham, as well as fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, anything other than three points at Bramall Lane would surely mean Burnley’s stay in the top flight would be over, just 12 months after promotion.

Kompany said: “They’ve been must-win for a while for us. But when you get down to the wire, you’re not the only team playing must-win. It’s must-win for both of us.

“But from our side, I don’t think we have anything to lose. We were written off about 15 games ago.

“It’s not always about the better team, it’s about the ball falling inside or outside the posts.”

Kompany believes his side’s form has improved in recent months after a difficult start to the season.

“For as much as we were in games [earlier in the season], we had to change a few things and from then on we’ve been closer to getting results,” he added. “It’s getting rewards for our performances. We’ve been good but we could have had a few more points.”

Kompany has said he will stick with goalkeeper Arijanet Muric despite some high-profile mistakes, including one at Everton that saw him hit his clearance straight on to Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the only goal of the game.

He said: ”It’s not a difficult decision at all. I’ve had the kind of season where I’ve had to back my players – otherwise I’d end up with no players on the pitch.

“It’s not an issue of talent – they’ve shown they’re really good players. But the consistency, you can’t force that. It comes with time.

“We supported James Trafford when he made mistakes and now it’s the same with Aro. You support them and hopefully you get the rewards later. I understand that clarity can help at times.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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