Michael Duff is expecting an ‘extra tough’ test as Burnley prepare for an away trip to Barnsley tomorrow night.
The Clarets will arrive at Oakwell sitting ten points clear in second place in the Championship table with only six rounds of games left to be played before the end of the season.
Meanwhile, their opponents are fighting at the other end of the league standings as they look to avoid relegation to League One.
Having picked up a vital point against Watford at the weekend, Sean Dyche’s team have now registered three wins and six draws from losing positions in the Championship this season.
That translates to 15 points with 12 of them having been won in this calendar year.
And Duff puts all those facts down to the mentality installed in the whole squad by the manager.
He said: “Any result away from home in this league is hard to get and I think the stats go to prove that if you score the first goal in any game, you go on to win more often than not.
“We’ve come back from one-nil down a few times this year. We just keep going which shows the mentality and the character in the team.
“We work hard all week and we did the same for 86 minutes on Saturday to get ourselves back in the game.
“That’s the mentality of the group which comes from the manager. It’s something he’s put into us and he expects nothing else.
“We knew it was an important goal. We’re hard to beat and that’s one thing that we’ve proved over the course of the season.
“Saturday was just another example of that.”
The Northern Irishman has been a regular fixture in the side this season – contributing to the division’s meanest defensive record.
Burnley have conceded just 34 goals in 40 Championship matches.
Meanwhile, only Leicester City and Derby County have scored more than the Clarets’ tally of 65 goals.
And Duff is hoping both records could be built upon against the determined Barnsley side.
He added: “It’s something that we work on – it’s not by accident that we’ve kept a few clean sheets!
“The workrate has been there right the way through the team, from the back to the front.
“We, defenders, pride ourselves on keeping clean sheets as centre forwards do on goals.
“Luckily, this season we’ve managed to get quite a lot of goals and quite a few clean sheets which is a decent recipe.
“Hopefully, we can continue on both fronts on Tuesday.
“Any away game in the Championship is hard and given where Barnsley are in the league, it’s going to be extra tough.
“With six games to go they will realise where they are and that they’ve got to start winning games.
“They’ve already got a few good results recently, so we know we’re in for a difficult game.”