MICHAEL Kightly says Burnley’s destiny is “in our hands”, with the Clarets on the cusp of a Premier League return.
Sean Dyche’s side could celebrate promotion at home to Middlesbrough tomorrow, should they achieve maximum points and third placed Derby County slip up at home to Huddersfield Town.
The players are aware of the permutations and what it could all mean come 5pm.
But the possible outcomes have not altered their preparation for the game.
“Everyone knows it’s the case, you’re not going to hide away from that, but there’s no point thinking about what might or might not happen. If we don’t win the game it definitely doesn’t happen so we want to make sure we give a good account of ourselves and try to win the game,” said Kightly, who joined in August on a season-long loan from Stoke City.
“There are still 15 points to play for and someone’s said we need five points, so it’s not like a last day of the season scenario. It’s just another game for us.
“It’s in our hands, which is nice.”
With forfeits and fines involved, the former Wolves wide man stops short of uttering the word promotion.
“It’s been banned. We have a think every Friday where if a player has stepped out of line they have to spin a wheel and do the forfeit it lands on,” he said.
“Someone mentioned the P word and they had to do a spin. Whatever letter it lands on from A to Z, whatever that letter represents you have to do the forfeit for that, things like singing and dancing and silly stuff that can embarrass you.
“It’s good because it brings everyone together, but I don’t think the boys are willing to say the word.
“I dread all of the forfeits to be honest.”
But Kightly admits that he had a sense something special was going to happen soon after arriving at Turf Moor on loan from Stoke.
“Not when I first came in I remember going out for a bit of food with a shacks (Jason Shackell) and I said ‘We’ve for a decent team, we’ve got a good chance this year’, and he agreed. Thankfully we’ve carried on doing well.”
Although Burnley have lost only once at home in the league this season – against Leicester in their last game at Turf Moor – he knows it will not be a forgone conclusion against a Middlesbrough side who go into the game with only one defeat in eight and the added incentive of doing the double over the Clarets to stop the promotion party.
“We’ve only lost four games all season and one of them was against Middlesbrough so it’s going to be a tough game. We know that we need to be bang at it to get a result,” said Kightly.
Burnley are likely to restore fit-again Kieran Trippier at right back, after boss Dyche opted to give him extra recovery time following a hamstring injury.
Junior Stanislas could also come back into contention following a similar problem.
Meanwhile, striker Sam Vokes has undergone surgery to repair the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament which has ended his season.
And manager Sean Dyche has reported that yesterday's operation went well.
“It’s all good so far,” said the Burnley boss. “I’m assured the specialist was happy.”