Resurgent Burnley out of bottom three after Vydra hits winner against Wolves | Premier League

Two league victories in the first six months of the season and now two in four days. There is timing a run to perfection, and then there is what Burnley are doing. Only once had Mike Jackson had back-to-back wins as a manager before this match, and those results came against Liverpool’s under-21s and Scunthorpe United while in charge of Tranmere Rovers two years ago. You did not need the roar which accompanied Matej Vydra’s winner here to tell you how perhaps this meant a little bit more.

He may no longer preside over this parish but the spirit of Sean Dyche still lingers in so much of what Burnley do well. In so many senses this win, their third in a row at home, had all the hallmarks of Dyche and the characteristics he installed into this club during his time in charge.

Every last-ditch challenge and every desperate clearance as Burnley hung on in the dying moments was met by a roar from the stands matched only by the home players at full-time here.

For 175 days Burnley have been stranded inside the relegation zone and for so long even the most optimistic supporter would have felt resigned to remaining there. But in one well-crafted moment of brilliance here, Wout Weghorst’s clever run behind the Wolves defense enabled him to turn the ball inside for Vydra and send Turf Moor into raptures.

It is now two wins in four days and seven points in the three games since Dyche was sacked and Jackson was placed in caretaker charge. Any notion of a swift appointment to replace Dyche has almost certainly been pushed back to the summer: that is if Jackson does not make the decision for the Burnley board himself should he complete the job and guide them a seventh successive season in the Premier League courtesy of the most remarkable of great escapes.

Matej Vydra is mobbed by his Burnley teammates after scoring against Wolves.
Matej Vydra is mobbed by his Burnley teammates after scoring against Wolves. Photograph: James Gill/Danehouse/Getty Images

“The group has really come together and it’s credit to them,” Jackson said, before insisting he has still been given no inclination over whether he will remain in charge for the rest of the season. “We’ll enjoy this, but there’s still a hell of a lot more football to come. Psychologically, what they’ve achieved this week will help them even more.”

Here, Vydra’s strike was enough to see off a fairly timid effort from a Wolves side that may look back at this match as a genuine missed opportunity.

As West Ham slipped to defeat at Chelsea on Sunday this was a moment to seize for Bruno Lagge’s side in their quest for European football next year. They were simply not clinical enough to make a compelling case for being in that race here on an underwhelming and frustrating afternoon for the visitors.

“We’ve watched this game too many times this season,” the Wolves manager said. “We were the better team, we created more chances but we gave them a chance to score and they did.”

When you consider Wolves still have the top three to play, this could be a devastating misstep in their desire to qualify for Europe. They had the best chance of a fairly low-key first half when Jonny’s driving run into the box forced a smart save from Nick Pope.

With the potential ramifications from victory huge for both sides, it might have been expected that more openings would start to arrive for both after half-time. That was evident within seconds of the restart as Vydra’s strike bounced off Sa and into the net via Conor Coady but the goal was correctly disallowed as Vydra was offside.

Wolves responded as Nelson Semedo drew another good save from Pope but as the game entered the final quarter, it increasingly felt as though one moment of quality would decide matters.

That arrived when Weghorst snuck in behind the back three; he dragged the ball across goal and Vydra did the rest for his second of the season. Whatever happens between now and the end of the campaign, he will not score a more important goal than this.

The onus was on Wolves to respond in a frantic final few minutes but the best they could muster was a tame shot from Hwang Hee-chan which rolled into the arms of Pope. Their profligacy in front of goal was matched by an incredible desire from Burnley and their fans, who roared every bit of defending just as they did for Vydra’s winner.

It was a brave call for Burnley’s board to sack Dyche and it is still not a guarantee it was the right one. But as this compelling relegation battle enters its final few furlongs, the impact of the past week means that if nothing else Burnley have the one thing Leeds United and Everton do not: momentum. How crucial that could turn out to be.

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