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Vincent Kompany has ‘total belief’ that Burnley can win their fight for survival

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Mar 2024

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Vincent Kompany stressed Burnley have “total belief” after his relegation-threatened side beat 10-man Brentford 2-1 at Turf Moor for their first win in 11 Premier League games.

The Clarets took the lead through a 10th-minute Jacob Bruun Larsen penalty awarded for a foul on Vitinho by Sergio Reguilon, who received a straight red card.

David Datro Fofana, having been guilty of a remarkable miss late in the first half, then doubled the advantage with a finish just past the hour mark.

A nervy finale for the hosts saw Kristoffer Ajer score a header for Brentford and a stoppage-time Shandon Baptiste effort ruled out due to Ivan Toney fouling goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.

However, Burnley held out for a first victory of 2024 – and only their fourth in the league this term – to leave an eight-point gap between them and safety with nine games left to play.

Boss Kompany said in his post-match press conference: “It feels great and I think we have to celebrate.

“It’s a day where we won, we got the three points and I think the way we’ll handle this is we’ll really enjoy this moment today and then tomorrow we go back to work.

“The team started hard from the beginning, we were on the front foot, we created situations that forced mistakes from the opponent, we won duels, we were aggressive and then after that I think for large spells we did exactly what we have to do against 10 men. We scored the second goal, probably there’s a couple of goals I still don’t know how we missed it, but OK.

“And then after that I think it’s just like a team when you’ve not been winning, sometimes it becomes a little bit more difficult at the end of games to keep the result, but we did exactly what we had to do in terms of showing grit at times.

“There’s never been a lack of belief. For us, we have total belief, full belief.”

When asked how he would celebrate, the former Manchester City captain said: “It will have to be spontaneous, I didn’t really plan for it just yet. But I’ve celebrated a few times in my life, so I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it again!

“To bring up that energy through the week (after last week being held 2-2 at West Ham due to a stoppage-time Danny Ings equaliser), to start the game like we did, I think then at the end you earn the right to celebrate when you win.”

Brentford boss Thomas Frank, whose side are winless in six and 15th in the table, four points above the drop zone, had no complaints about the officials’ decisions to give the penalty, send off Reguilon, or disallow the stoppage-time effort.

However, he was unhappy no spot-kick was given to the Bees after Fofana tangled with Mathias Jorgensen early in the second half, an incident he described as a “murder in the box.”

Frank said: “There’s a clear penalty, how the referee (Darren Bond) and the VAR cannot see that, it’s incredible.

“That would have changed the game. It is a 100 per cent clear penalty, especially when they speak about you can’t hold, grab players. That was a murder in the box.”

Kompany viewed the situation differently, saying: “No chance (it should have been a penalty) – and with the way it’s gone this year, I’m even more convinced in saying it.”

Frank said he was “very, very proud” of his players, adding: “What an effort, what a mentality, basically playing the whole match with 10 players – we were very close to getting a point.”

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