Burnley returned to winning ways, after 11 matches without a victory, with Saturday’s 2-1 win over Everton at Turf Moor and manager Sean Dyche praised his team’s resilience.
The Clarets came from behind to win, for the first time in 54 occasions under Dyche in the Premier League, thanks to goals from strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.
“It was a fantastic performance,” said Dyche, “We have not been far off in a lot of these games (during the recent bad run). It was a thorough performance and winning one.
“We have to be resilient because it is hard work for us in the Premier League. But that will and demand, the players here have the underlying honesty to what they want to achieve. They didn’t go down after going behind and the second half response was excellent,” he added.
Seventh-placed Burnley has reached 40 points, only five behind sixth-placed Arsenal with the prospect of Europa League qualification not out of their reach.
But Dyche laughed off the suggestion that European football would be the next goal for the Clarets given that survival is all but mathematically secure.
“The next game is the goal. To go and build on that. That was a better performance than Southampton (last week). That got us a nice win,” he said.
“Now that we have reached 40 points with nine games to go, it’s a marker of how far we have come in a short space of time.”
Burnley’s winless streak, which saw them draw six times, including against both Manchester clubs, had threatened to take the shine off an unexpectedly positive season for the Lancashire club.
“It’s tough when you’re on a run like this. We have deserved better in recent games so we wanted to bring freedom to our performance. We went 1-0 down but it didn’t knock us,” said Dyche.
“We were on the front foot, particularly from the second half. We are not shy on getting the ball in behind, I’m an advocate of mixed football. How many ways can you affect the defence?
Dyche singled out right-back Matthew Lowton for praise after his defence-splitting pass set up Barnes for the equaliser.
“We get dumbed down at times but the pass from Matt Lowton is top class, as good as I’ve seen in a long time.”