Sean Dyche is optimistic at what the last four games of the Premier League season have in store for Burnley after being encouraged by their recent displays – even if results have largely gone against them.
Burnley squandered leads to lose against Southampton and Newcastle last month before two late goals saw Manchester United prevail at Old Trafford although the Clarets bounced back in style with a surprise 4-0 win at Wolves.
West Ham came from behind to win 2-1 at Turf Moor on Monday, handing Burnley a fourth defeat in their last five, but Dyche thinks the form guide paints an unfair picture of what he has seen from his team in the past few weeks.
“We’ve had lesser runs of form and created a lot more points in the table,” said Dyche, whose side can guarantee their top-flight survival with a victory at relegation-threatened Fulham on Monday night.
“We want to take on the actual performance form that we’ve got and turn it into wins, we did that at Wolves with a very strong performance.
“I didn’t think it was a remotely bad performance against West Ham, they were very good. Our physical level was absolutely brilliant that night so I think the players are actually in good shape to take on the next four games.”
Burnley started the season by taking two points from their first seven matches, having underwhelmed in the transfer window with only the signing of Dale Stephens offsetting the losses of Aaron Lennon, Jeff Hendrick and Joe Hart.
Injuries to key players occurred in the early part of the campaign but Burnley’s situation gradually improved and they now sit nine points clear of 18th-placed Fulham and on the brink of securing their safety.
“There was a reality to the beginning of the season,” added Dyche, who confirmed Chris Wood will be available to face the Cottagers after a dead leg although winger Robbie Brady and defender Kevin Long remain on the sidelines.
“There was a lot going on off the pitch, we didn’t make the signings that we were hoping to make due to a lack of finance, we structured the side the best we could because we had injuries galore.
“I’m never too broken by anything that happens in the Premier League because I’m a realist, I know it can go against you.
“What I would say is the players deserve a huge amount of credit because even in that period there wasn’t a lack of effort or will.
“After game seven, the players deserve massive credit for getting the season back online and then delivering a very consistent level of performance to get the points we’ve got.
“I’ve seen lately performances don’t guarantee that you win a game but they give you a much, much better chance over a consistent period.
“That’s what we’ve looked for and the players have delivered that this season to get to where we are. Now it’s about going strong for the last four games.”