Vincent Kompany unsure of exact permutations as Burnley move closer to promotion

Vincent Kompany admitted he did not yet fully know the mathematical permutations of Burnley’s promotion bid, but a goalless draw with Sunderland brought them one point closer to the Premier League.

Burnley’s first-year manager could see his team secure a return to the top flight with a win at third-placed Middlesbrough on Friday, if other results fall his way.

Had Burnley beaten Sunderland at Turf Moor, three points at Middlesbrough on Friday would have guaranteed promotion.

But a maximum of eight points from their remaining eight games will definitely see Burnley clinch a place in the top two, with Kompany likely to celebrate that achievement on Easter Monday, his 37th birthday, when his team host their biggest rivals. nearby, Sheffield United.

“Honestly, I don’t know where we stand mathematically,” Kompany said.

“Sure if I made an effort I would, but you are in a bubble when you are a coach. The clocks changed one hour last Sunday and it was Friday before I knew it!

“That’s really what happens, you focus on what gives you an advantage for the next game, that’s the thinking. I just know that our team at its best can win five, six or eight games in a row. We must not doubt it.

“But mathematics has whispered to me. I found out before today’s game that we had two games to win to move up and now we need a couple more.

“In the end we took this match very seriously and gave it all the credit it deserved but we knew it was going to be difficult.

“Sunderland are a good team and I think at some point we’ll see this as a good point, but I’m not there yet!

“It’s not a bad point and it gives us something to work on next week, and that’s a good thing for a manager. We will also take Middlesbrough seriously and whatever comes next, will come next.”

The goalless draw means Burnley are unbeaten in their last 18 league games, winning 14, since the loss to Sheffield United on November 5 and have led in all but 137 of the 1,620 minutes they have played in that run.

But Kompany was left frustrated by a disciplined performance by a Sunderland side who became the first since Manchester City, almost exactly 12 months ago, to keep a clean sheet on a visit to Turf Moor.

Indeed, the Black Cats could have inflicted a first home defeat of the season on Kompany’s side, as they came close to capitalizing on Burnley’s pressure for a second-half winner.

Substitute Amad Diallo, on loan from Manchester United, hit the crossbar, via Josh Cullen’s deflection, practically with his first touch after 68 minutes, the rebound falling directly to relieved goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.

And Jack Clarke also had the ball in the Burnley goal just before the final whistle but the shot was disallowed for offside as Abdoullah Ba blocked Muric.

“It was a great experience for the players and they will learn from it,” said Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray. “There were many positive aspects.

“We left home against a team that is top of the table and we’re disappointed we didn’t make the most of one of our chances – we hit the crossbar and scored a goal that was marginally offside.”


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