KEEP calm and carry on – that’s the message from defender Ben Mee as Burnley’s promotion push extends into the Easter weekend.
The Clarets went into Saturday’s home game with Middlesbrough knowing that a win, and anything less for Derby, would ensure automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Instead the day ended with back-to-back home defeats for the first time since November 2011 through Jacob Butterfield’s breakaway goal, while an 11-point gap was reduced to eight.
But Mee says they will take the positives of a dominant performance against Boro into the Good Friday game at Blackpool, insisting they are not feeling the pressure.
“We are actually really calm and not even thinking about it at the minute,” said the 24-year-old.
“I think everyone’s really calm to be honest. Because we’ve kept on such a level all season, we’re just carrying on.
“You’d be surprised how relaxed everyone is. It showed out there. We played really well but we just couldn’t score.
“It wasn’t a nervy performance by any means. We went out there and we wanted to win.
“We just wanted to put on a performance and win the game, we weren’t concentrating on anything else.
“Like we have done all season we just focused on the game ahead. We’re disappointed not to win but the performance was there and if we play like that again we should beat teams.”
Burnley encountered a Middlesbrough goalkeeper in sparkling form as Dimi Konstantopoulos made saves from Ashley Barnes and Ross Wallace and denied free kicks from Kieran Trippier and David Jones, while Michael Kightly headed against the bar in the first half and Jason Shackell had a header cleared off the line.
“The keeper’s had a real worldy of a game, he probably won’t have a better one all season,” said Mee, who glanced a second half header wide.
“It’s just been a bit of a disappointing way to finish the game. We had a lot of chances but just couldn’t quite get there.
“But we’re pleased with our performance, we’re not too disappointed about that. There are a lot of positives still in the defeat.”
Burnley had not suffered a league defeat at Turf Moor all season up until their last home game against Leicester City.
Few would have expected a second to follow so quickly, but Mee said: “We’ve got a great record here and we’re proud of that.
“It doesn’t tell the whole story of the game. They’ll be delighted with that win but we know we’ve played really well and we’re going to take the same form into our last four games hopefully and go and show what we can do in front of goal.
“We know what we’re doing on the pitch, we know the lads are going to put on a good performance so there are no nerves there.”