McCann urges Burnley to forget the past ahead of Blackpool clash
9:00am Saturday 20th October 2012 in Sport
CHRIS McCann has urged Burnley to put Eddie Howe’s departure behind them and focus on securing all three points in a ‘massive’ derby clash with Blackpool tonight.
The Clarets return to action against the Seasiders for the first time since Howe quit as manager late last week to rejoin Bournemouth.
Terry Pashley will take temporary charge for the match, which is live on Sky Sports at 5.20pm, with the Burnley board still searching for the club’s new boss.
Howe’s decision to depart and step down a division, after days of uncertainty over his future, came as a shock to many of the playing staff.
But McCann insists the Clarets must quickly move on and make sure they are ready for an important derby fixture tonight.
“We’ve said in the changing room we can’t afford to dwell on the past,” the midfielder said.
“We’ve got a big game ahead of us. “It’s been a strange week. It was a bit weird. “I don’t think anyone knew what was going on. No-one knew if he was going to go or not.
“We thought it was all speculation at first. “When a manager’s managed at a club previously, it’s like Owen Coyle was linked to this job, people put two and two together and come up with five sometimes.
“But he was going for family reasons, which you’ve got to understand. “It’s been and gone now. We can move forward as a team to a massive game against Blackpool.”“There is never an easy game against Blackpool, especially with the way they are playing at the minute.
“Hopefully with a big crowd we can get a positive result.
“You’ve just got to get on with your job and that’s to play football. Everything else is out of your control.
“We’ve got to focus on our own game.”
The Irishman believes the Clarets are in capable hands under the temporary guidance of youth chief Pashley, who has been caretaker boss on two previous occasions but has never led the club into a first team match before.
But McCann says he will always be thankful to Howe for the faith showed in him – having been appointed as Burnley captain on his return from a serious knee injury, before Jason Shackell took over the armband last summer.
“I’m really grateful for what he did for me here because there was a time I was out of contract (after injury), and he showed faith in me and rewarded me with a new deal and made me captain,” said the 25-year-old.
“That’s something I thanked him for. He is a top bloke and I wish him all the best.
“Eddie brought in players who want to play the right way. Hopefully we can keep doing that but be a bit more clinical and concentrate a bit more in our final third.
“We haven’t seen games out. We’ve conceded soft goals. As a collective unit and a team we need to concentrate more. We’re all at fault for conceding goals.
“Terry Pashley is a good guy. He wants us to enjoy our football, and go out and express ourselves.
“He had a chat with us during the week about what he feels we can do better.
“I wouldn't expect too many changes off Pash but whatever he does I’m sure it will be for the benefit of the team.”