BURNLEY, England (Reuters) -Burnley climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone and pushed Everton into the bottom three after Matej Vydra grabbed a 62nd-minute winner in a tense 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Turf Moor on Sunday.
The Clarets have now claimed seven points from three games since sacking long-term manager Sean Dyche and move to 31 points from 33 games while Everton, who lost 2-0 to Liverpool, have 29 points from 32 games.
Czech international Vydra slotted home the winner after Dwight McNeil’s perfect pass found Wout Weghorst and the Dutchman squared for a first-time finish from his strike partner.
Burnley, desperate for the three points in their bid for survival, then battled ferociously to hang on to the lead and despite Wolves enjoying plenty of possession, they did so with a degree of comfort.
In the eight days since Burnley chairman Alan Pace sacked Dyche and put Under-23 coach Mike Jackson in temporary charge, Burnley have drawn at West Ham United and then beaten Southampton and Wolves to give the Lancashire club a fighting chance of a seventh straight season in the top flight.
The home side had started slowly and Bruno Lage’s Wolves, eighth in the table, looked confident on the ball with Nick Pope doing well to keep out a Jonny Otto drive.
McNeil – one of the Burnley players who looks reborn since Dyche’s departure – then cut inside from the right and tested Jose Sa with a fiercely struck left-foot shot.
Pope had to be alert again after the break to keep out a Nelson Semedo effort following a strong break from deep by South Korean midfielder Hwang Hee-Chan.
Burnley also had the ball in the net when a Vydra shot saved by Sa ricocheted in off Conor Coady, but the Czech was ruled offside.
Vydra was able to celebrate though after his clinical first-time finish, and the Burnley fans then roared their team on until the final whistle.
“The last 10 minutes, I was so nervous. I was counting the minutes and praying we could bring the three points home,” said Vydra.
Jackson said he has not spoken to the club’s owners about whether he will take charge for the rest of the season or not but was delighted to maintain his impressive start in the role.
“It was a great result and a strong performance. We didn’t start great but grew into it. We tweaked a few things at halftime, started the second half well and then got the goal and then it was about managing the game out,” he said.
“I’m just so pleased for the group, and everyone involved. We’re enjoying the challenge of these games and it’s how we have to look it now, where can we improve and get better and that’s where we want to get to,” he added.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage was frustrated his side had been unable to make the most of their first-half openings.
“I’m disappointed because I’ve seen this game too many times. We were the better team and played well, we played the way we should. But we didn’t score one goal and (we made) one mistake and we concede a goal,” he said.
“We are not scoring goals; I’m happy with the players’ work, but in terms of putting teams in a different level, the European level, we can’t score goals.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Hugh Lawson and Toby Davis)