Laws not feeling the pressure

Last weekend’s 6-1 defeat at home to Manchester City was Burnley’s

11th in 13 Premier League games since Laws was appointed in

January, and the eighth in their last nine. That sequence has left

the Clarets – who travel to 18th-placed Hull on Saturday – second

bottom in the table, four points from safety with five games to

play. Reports have suggested Laws’ job could be under immediate

threat, but asked if he felt he was under more pressure now than he

was a month ago, Laws said: “No. I knew what pressure was here and

it is always going to be there, it will never change. “It just

means we work extremely hard and are more determined with each day

that goes by to turn things around.” Laws is looking for his

players to follow the lead of other teams in the top flight this

term by bouncing back from their humiliating defeat against City

with a positive result this weekend. Burnley are in desperate need

of points and a morale-boosting performance after suffering their

heaviest loss of the campaign to a City side that ran riot at Turf

Moor. Hull are directly above Burnley in the league but have three

more points as well as a game in hand, meaning it is imperative for

the Clarets – who have not won away in the league all season – to

take something from Saturday’s game. But having seen Wigan follow

their 9-1 defeat to Tottenham with a victory in November and Aston

Villa win last week after being battered 7-1 by Chelsea, Laws is

optimistic his players can do something similar. “The one thing I

want is a reaction and I take heart from other teams this season,”

Laws said. “There have been some ridiculous scores this year in the

Premier League. You look at Wigan, who conceded nine goals – the

very next game, they react positively and get a result. Aston

Villa, same thing, get a result. “I want a response and it would be

nice to think we can get a result. Maybe it (the City game) was the

kick up the backside that we need, I don’t know.” Laws confirmed

Kevin McDonald will be included in the squad travelling to Hull

after the midfielder was fined for leaving Turf Moor without

permission at half time during last weekend’s match. It was

reported McDonald – who was substituted by Laws at the break with

the Clarets 5-0 down – headed to a nearby pub after departing the

stadium. The 21-year-old issued an apology on Tuesday for his

“nave” and “disrespectful” behaviour, while his manager today

admitted McDonald “was an idiot for doing it.” But Laws insists he

has national for this weekend’s game. “He’s made an error, he has

held his hand up, he has taken the punishment and he’s apologised,”

Laws said. “What more can you ask? It was a judgement call he made

and it was the wrong one. “We’ll draw a line under it and move on.

He’ll certainly be within the squad, so there’s no further

punishment.” He added: “He feels a bit of an idiot and he was an

idiot for doing it, but we have to draw a line under it and not

further punish him. “He’s a nice kid, he’s just had a bad day at

the office and he took the wrong decision.” There have been rumours

of unrest in the Burnley camp, with Laws reported to have had

disagreements with Clarke Carlisle and Robbie Blake – who is also

thought to have reacted badly to being substituted at half-time

against City – but the manager denied there had been any bust-ups.

“I can’t influence what’s going on on the outside,” Laws said. “If

people are putting rumours around like that, there is nothing I can

do about it, other than to say that there has been no bust-up

whatsoever. “Obviously we have had a problem with McDonald, but

there was nothing to do with Robbie at all. “Robbie and I get on

really well, there is no question about that, so end of story.”