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.”