Football

Burnley Vs Liverpool, Sun 25 Apr 2010

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Burnley manager Brian Laws is adamant he will be at the club next season as he already has plans in place for life in or out of the Barclays Premier League.

The Clarets have lost 13 of 16 matches since Laws' appointment in mid-January, and unsurprisingly it has prompted speculation he will be out in the summer - in particular if the club is relegated.

Burnley stand on the brink of a swift return to the Coca-Cola Championship ahead of Sunday's Turf Moor clash with Liverpool, but Laws does not see his reign coming to an end any time soon.

"The one thing we have to do is plan - short term, long term - and the one thing we are planning for right now is to stay in the Premier League," he said.

"You've also got to look at the other side, at what happens if we don't stay up.

"But we're not sitting around twiddling our thumbs. We're trying to do some planning, and what course we take depends on this weekend and next.

"Hopefully we won't know until after the last game of the season which would be great, the best feeling in the world, and I'd be delighted if that happens.

"Once we do know we'll be straight on it, and we'll work as quickly as possible to put practices in place."

With Burnley's plight a precarious one, with every game now crucial, the players would likely look to their manager to present a cool, calm facade.

But Laws admits to being on edge, adding: "If you don't have nerves then there's a problem. You're not human.

"It's an emotional game. No-one is super human. Who can switch off just like that and say they don't feel pressure or nervous?

"Of course you feel nervous, and you need an element of that to get the best out of yourself anyway.

"So nerves do come into it. Your stomach will be churning away, but that's the feeling you should have - it means you care, and myself and everybody at this football club cares."

Defender Clarke Carlisle is likely to be out after turning his right ankle in training, but striker David Nugent should return after missing last weekend's defeat at Sunderland with a tight hamstring.

After a long and arduous trip to Madrid for a Europa League semi-final in the week Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez must turn his attention to a shorter journey equally fraught with problems.

His side head to struggling Burnley knowing their faint hopes of finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League will be all but over if Tottenham have already beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Their woeful domestic away record has largely contributed to that situation as they have won just four and lost eight of their 17 matches on the road.

Liverpool's last two trips this season are to Turf Moor and Hull on the final day but even victories there and also at home to Chelsea are probably not going to be enough to get them into the Champions League next season.

Benitez accepts their away form has been the major stumbling block to success this season and with a crucial Europa League semi-final second leg coming up on Thursday there is a danger his players will be too focused on that.

"We know our record away this year is not the best so we cannot go there thinking the job is done, we have to do it," said the Spaniard, whose only piece of good news this week was the reopening of British airspace which prevented another 1,200-mile return overland from Madrid.

"Always you have an opportunity to change this record and it is positive that we were able to return home (from Madrid) by plane because we were originally thinking about arriving late on Saturday evening.

"We will have some time when we can rest and be ready. We know it will be a massive game and we will try to do our best.

"Never is it easy to play away, especially against a team which is fighting relegation.

"We have confidence and hopefully we can play well, score goals and have more confidence for the second leg against Atletico.

"We have got to go there and claim three points."

Liverpool returned from Madrid with another injury worry after striker David Ngog had to come off with a back problem in the second half against Atletico.

With star striker Fernando Torres out for the remainder of the campaign after a second knee operation and four defenders currently sidelined it leaves the squad looking a bit thin.

One player certain to return is midfielder Maxi Rodriguez, who will be fresh after remaining on Merseyside because he was ineligible for Europe.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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