Keane hopes vital goal will maintain momentum
Clarets defender Michael Keane described his dramatic equaliser in the top-of-the-table clash with Brighton as the best moment of his career.
The 23-year-old found space in the box to convert substitute Matt Taylor’s corner in the third minute of stoppage time at the AMEX Stadium to salvage a point and extend the club’s unbeaten run to 16 games.
And it’s a bold statement from Keane, who has represented England at Under 21 level and progressed through the ranks at Old Trafford to make his league debut for Manchester United in the top flight.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve had in football,” he said. having netted for the first time since August.
“For it to be a big game like this, the situation both teams are in, to score an equaliser in the last few minutes was an unbelievable feeling and it just shows our never say die attitude.
“I felt like I was getting in a lot at attacking set plays and I felt I was getting the better of my man. I thought Tayls would put a good ball in as he always does and luckily I was on the end of it.
“Being in front of the away fans as well makes it 10 times better. I felt like jumping in there with them. A few of them jumped over and I was hugging a few of them. I was surprised I didn’t get booked.
“I’ve heard some of them got up at 4 a.m. to get here today so that was for them.”
Keane had been inexplicably denied moments earlier when referee Craig Pawson and his officials failed to acknowledge that his header from another Taylor corner had crossed the line, despite the best attempts of Jamie Murphy and Steve Sidwell to clear.
But the Clarets battled until the very end to claim a deserved point and maintain their four-point advantage over the Seagulls in the Championship ahead of tonight’s home game with Cardiff City (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).
“I’ve been told it was a good yard or so over the line,” Keane said. “Liam Rosenior told me on the pitch it was over just before I scored the other header, so it gave me a bit more determination. To score like that gives the whole squad a boost going into Cardiff. It wasn’t our most fluid game but we never know when we’re beaten.
“It gives you that bit of momentum. If you’re on the receiving end it’s horrible, like we were before the international break when we conceded in the last minute.
“It’s a massive point. We wanted to win the game but a point is a good result, especially the way it happened. It shows the spirit of the team.”
With just seven games left, starting with play-off hopefuls Cardiff at Turf Moor, Keane believes the experience within the squad will help the Clarets see the job through.
“We’ve got seven games left and we’ve got a bit of breathing space in the top two,” he said.
“We want to win the league, we’ve still got to play Boro, but we just focus on one game at a time now. We’ve got a lot of experienced players and a lot of leaders. When things aren’t going for us and we’re not playing well they keep us doing the right things and keep us going.”
Keane added: “There’s a lot of us who have experienced promotion before. They’re helping the likes of myself, telling us to continue playing how we have done all season, keep doing the right things and we’ll get the results.
“It’s going to be an exciting run in. We’ve got seven left and quite a few at home so hopefully the place will be bouncing and we can get some results at home.”