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Mike Jackson-hero in need!

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Mike Jackson has won the Premier League Manager of the Month for April. Who? Exactly. Mike Jackson took over from Burnley in April after the sacking of Sean Dyche. Burnley were molded in the shape of Dyche so much, it was hard to imagine anyone else managing them. However, Jackson has been a breath of fresh air for everyone associated with the club.

The Clarets have taken 10 points from five matches under him, including three consecutive victories. They are in with a real shout for survival, with a game in hand over Leeds United in 18th-place. If Burnley do stay up, Mike Jackson and team would be one of the stories of the season.

So, who is this player-turned-manager and how did he land up at Burnley? FootTheBall presents the lowdown on the most-talked about manager in the Premier League currently.

Scouser at heart

Mike Jackson grew up in Liverpool, being a fan of the Reds. It was visible from the way he went up against Everton, still as an assistant manager. Jackson is late to the party in joining the list of Manager of the Year nominations. However, he will be the story of the season over Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola if Burnley stay up.

Spent time in the lower divisions

Jackson was a regular in across clubs in the late 1990s. He had spells with Bury, Preston North End, and Tranmere Rovers among others. Jackson was a solid centre-back who was counted on by his teammates and beloved across all clubs. His experience from his playing days is certainly shaping up the mean backline at Burnley.

Preston Player of the Year

Undoubtedly, it was at Preston where Mike Jackson had his finest years. He made 288 appearances over seven years in what was his longest spell. In the 1998-99 season, ‘Jacko’ was as he was fondly called, was voted the Player of the Year after his stellar performances at the back. They included a lionhearted effort against the mighty Arsenal in the FA Cup. Jackson would go on to represent the club in flawless manner till 2004.

Division Two winner

Though he won the Player of the Year in 1999, Mike Jackson would enjoy the first club trophy the next year. Preston had missed out on the playoffs in 1999 after defeat to Gillingham. However, the players were spurred on from this heartbreak in spectacular fashion.

Preston North End
Preston North End celebrate the 1999-2000 Division Two title. Image credits:

Preston would lose only seven matches in 1999-2000 to secure the Division Two title. Thus, Preston were back in the second-tier after an absence of around 20 years.

Joining rivals

Mike Jackson left Preston North End in 2004, and joined Tranmere Rovers with who he had had a short loan spell. After a couple of years, he would end up signing for Blackpool on a free. The Lilywhites had a great rivalry with Blackpool and Jackson’s move could have divided fans. However, he remains popular in Deepdale and would go onto achieve more honours soon.

Another promotion

Blackpool were regular contenders for promotion to the Championship before Mike Jackson arrive. However, they took the extra step necessary and went all the way in 2006-2007. Jackson was the captain along the way and solidified his status as an instant hero.

Blackpool win promotion
Mike Jackson hoists the trophy as Blackpool win promotion to the Championship. Image credits:

Early retirement and first steps into coaching

Mike Jackson had to retire at 37-years-old after persistent problems with his knee. He was playing for Shrewsbury Town but announced he was stepping away from playing in January 2010. Subsequently, Jackson joined the coaching staff and was the caretaker manager for the final match of 2009-10.

Full-time manager and relegation

Jackson was handed the reins on a permanent basis towards the end of the 2013-14 season. This came after he had served an assistant to Graham Turner. However, Jackson was unable to save Shrewsbury Town from dropping down to League Two. Nevertheless, he would stay on as an assistant under the new management of Micky Mellon.

Time through Tranmere

Both Mellon and Jackson would join forces once again at Tranmere Rovers, where the latter used to play. There were a couple of decent years, and Jackson was appointed manager again in mid-2020. However, he was sacked in October.

From U23s to senior team

Burnley appointed Mike Jackson as the interim manager of the U23s side in July 2021. Then came the ultimate job- managing a Premier Club club. Jackson has taken help from the other assistants and captain Ben Mee. Jackson is almost the perfect man to take on this challenge, given his previous experiences. Burnley still have a lot of work to do but they are on the right track.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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