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.
Instant impact 👊
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 12, 2022
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.
😯 Burnley picked up 29% of their points haul for the season in the month of April under Mike Jackson (11 pts out of 34).
🤯 He has won the manager of the month award this season before Jurgen Klopp pic.twitter.com/omPtNUt1hM
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 12, 2022
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.
🗓️ On this day in 2003…
Michael Jackson opened the scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion before a stunning goal from Richard Cresswell secured the three points in a 2-0 win! 💥
— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) April 12, 2020
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.
🏆 As we continue to interview our former Player of the Year winners ahead of our 5,000th game, today's focus is on our 1999 recipient Michael Jackson.
— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) June 9, 2020
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 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.
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.
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.
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.