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No Celebrating Just Yet - Pope

Players focused on sealing the deal as Europe beckons

28 April 2018

Nick Pope insists it’s not party time yet as the Clarets wait to rubber-stamp their passport to Europe.

A 12th clean sheet of the campaign for Pope in a 0-0 draw with Brighton means Burnley have one foot in the Europa League draw.

But with Everton still mathematically able to pinch seventh place from the Clarets – in the unlikely event they can turn around a 15-goal deficit – there are no champagne corks popping in the Clarets’ camp yet.

“I think you set yourself up for disaster if you celebrate too much,” said Pope.

“There are still two games to go with lots to play for and we have to go to Arsenal to fight again.

“We want it done next week and put to bed. That’s the attitude for us now.”

Burnley go to Arsenal next Sunday and then finish a memorable season at home to Bournemouth a week later.

Their destiny is very much in their own hands thanks to a run of just one defeat in nine games.

And while the win that would guaranteed a place in Europe for the first time in 51 years proved elusive against a Brighton side looking to ensure their Premier League safety, a 54th point of the season could prove to be the most significant.

“It’s another one on the board. Not a great performance and not the best game ever but an important point for both teams,” added Pope, who was rarely troubled in the Clarets’ goal.

“Clean sheets are important in every game, but in games like that you feel the first goal is massive.

“I think that was the feeling for both teams, so it was important to keep it tight at the back and still try and nick a goal as well.”

Sean Dyche’s men came closest to breaking the deadlock and avoiding a repeat of last December’s 0-0 draw at Brighton when Kevin Long hit a post following an almighty first-half goalmouth scramble.

But Long – who produced another outstanding defensive performance – had no complaints about the outcome.

And the Ireland international is also focused on taking care of business on a landmark day at the Emirates Stadium when legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will take charge of his last home game.

“We’ll keep going right until the end,” Long told Clarets Player HD.

“Even if we get the job done we still want to win games.

“We are creating a winning mentality and we want to keep it going and win as many games as possible.

“We want to go there and win the game. We want to cause an upset and pretty much ruin his (Wenger’s) last game there.

“As bad as it sounds, that’s what we want to do. We want to go there and win and try and get the win last game against Bournemouth as well.

“We want to win both games.”


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