TERRY Pashley says he is happy to remain Clarets’ caretaker for as long as it takes, after being told he will stay in charge for tomorrow’s trip to Cardiff City.
The 55-year-old boasts a 100 per cent record in the two games since Eddie Howe’s departure and will look to extend that against the Championship’s joint leaders.
Back-to-back league wins – Burnley’s first this season – have given the board some breathing space in the search for a new manager, one which seems unlikely to reach a conclusion by the weekend.
Former Watford boss Sean Dyche yesterday seemed to edge to the front of a pack which also includes Falkirk manager Steven Pressley and St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas.
Both have made efforts to play down speculation.
Former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder Lomas, who has risen to prominence after beating Celtic sparked a six-game winning run in the Scottish Premier League, said: “It’s flattering but I didn’t take any notice of speculation a few weeks ago when people were saying I was under pressure so I won’t be taking any notice now.
“If I am on any lists I’ll be one of about 80 because jobs are hard to come by.
“I spent about eight-and-a-half years at just two clubs (Manchester City and QPR) so I’m not one who is easily swayed.”
Pressley, of whom Sir Alex Ferguson is a strong supporter, said: “I know what has been said is speculation.
“It is flattering because Burnley is a good club with a great tradition – but so is Falkirk – and there has been no contact between the clubs.
“Like anyone I am ambitious but I need to stress I am very happy here. I am proud to be manager at this football club (Falkirk) I have worked hard here and I will continue to do that because there is a real job to do here to keep delivering the best results for this club. I’ve been doing that this week ahead of the game with Partick Thistle (tomorrow).”
Joint chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick are still receiving applications from candidates, and continued the interview process this week after meeting with at least 15 before last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Blackpool.
But Pashley insists the uncertainty over the identity of Howe’s successor is not posing a problem to him or his players.
“As things stand it doesn’t really bother me that much.
“I'm enjoying what I’m doing, we’ve got two wins and we’re trying to keep that going. That’s all I’ve ever tried to focus on,” he said.
“I don’t expect anything. I will carry on until the chairmen and the board tell me otherwise, but at this moment in time I’ve not heard from them.
“I’ll continue to prepare for Cardiff on Saturday.
“I’ve been asked to look after the team and I’ll continue to do that.
“We’ve got two good results and we’ll see if we can carry that on.
“I’ve had a great relationship and a great response from the boys and all the staff, they’ve made it easy for me.
“They’ve trained well and played exceptionally well.”
Pashley was particularly pleased with the character shown to push for a late winner at Bristol City, even though goalscorer Chris McCann didn’t realise it had gone in at first.
“People’s initial reaction was that it had gone over the bar – mine too,” the midfielder admitted.
“The celebration was more a mixture of relief.
“At 3-1 up and cruising it would have been a sin – a crime – to throw away a lead like that.
“I thought we were in control of the whole game.
“It’s just a matter of concentration that let us down again, it’s just little things to work on as a team. But we kept going. We know we’ve got the players to win games.
“We should have seen that one out a lot sooner than we did, but credit to us we kept on going to the end and put that one in.”
Burnley are the divisions sharpest shooters, with 26, yet have one of the leakiest defences, conceded 25.
But McCann added: “I think we’ve turned a corner defensively. I think we’ve been a lot more solid.
“If we can just tidy up on concentration a little bit we won’t be a million miles off where we want to be.
“The guys showed a tremendous energy (on Tuesday). I think it’s more of a willingness and desire.
“We want to do well this season, we don’t want to be a middle of the road team.
“We are all ambitious guys and we want to do the best we can.
“We want to push on, and it’s good to give the fans something to cheer.”