Sean Dyche has shrugged off Burnley’s lingering doubters and insisted his side deserve their status as Championship contenders.
The Clarets put their 10-month unbeaten home league record on the line this weekend against Sheffield Wednesday (Sat 3pm).
And after just one defeat in eight games hoisted his side back in to second place in the table, Dyche insists there is no pressure on his “underdogs”.
He said: “Pressure is what you make you make of it. For us, we are still underdogs and the unknowns and people are still writing us off.
“Not disrespectfully, I might add, but wondering if we can keep challenging without the resources, money and squad size.
“But I have made it clear; we look at what we have and what we can do, rather than what we don’t have and can’t affect.
“I think the viewpoint has possibly changed. Before Christmas people might have been looking at Burnley and saying ‘they’re up there, but let’s see’.
“But we’ve come out of the Christmas period still in there and that’s great credit to the players, the club and the town.
“We are being recognised as a team that can compete and that’s a great message.
“Now, of course the challenge is to build on that and reinforce it.”
Dyche, who hopes to have Ben Mee back in contention against the Owls, leaving just Ross Wallace as the only squad member sidelined, added: “The first expectation is upon yourself because that’s the one that’s in your control.
Ben Mee: In Contention
“Our main focus is what we think about ourselves and everyone else can come along for the ride.
“It’s about dealing with our own expectations and setting them where we feel it’s appropriate.
“We have made it clear that’s on a weekly basis, so that when each game comes around we are ready to go hard and move onto the next one.
“We are not going to change that.
“Outside expectations are up to other people to decide and I don’t over-think that.
“I know what we are about and what we are trying to challenge ourselves to do, individually and as a group.”
Wednesday, now managed by caretaker and former Clarets first team coach Stuart Gray, arrive at Turf Moor rejuvenated by a six-game unbeaten run.
Striker Connor Wickham now in his third spell at Hillsborough, has ben a catalyst for that revival.
And Dyche has warned his side they will need to be on their guard against another of the division’s in-form teams.
He said: “Connor is a fine young player and an England U21 international, who has worked before with Tony Loughlan, so we know he’s a good player.
“He went off for a massive fee and that can bring its challenges. He’s just gone through that and is delivering well at Sheffield Wednesday, who have a new manager as well.
“That always weirdly brings that change of thinking, so we have to guard against all of the above.
“But we’ve made it clear many times this season by the way we have performed that we willing to take on the challenges in front of us.
“We prepare well for every game and I think we’ve shown that.
“The victory at Yeovil takes us appropriately into the next game, which is back here at Turf Moor.
“We’ve been very strong at home and we look to continue that.”
Burnley v Sheffield Wednesday is a SILVER category game, with prices as below:
Adults: From £28
Over 65: From £17
U22: From £15
U18: from £8
U12: From £5
All sale tickets can be reserved in person at the ticket office, at the Clarets Store in town, by telephone on 0871 221 1914 (opt 1) or online HERE.
Please note: Supporters cannot purchase matchday tickets for Block 3 in the James Hargreaves Lower. Tickets can be bought for block 2.
Flexi-Tickets are still available for purchase, click HERE for more details.
Tickets are available in person at the ticket office, via telephone on 0871 221 1914 (opt 1) and online by clicking HERE
Tickets can also be purchased in advance from the Clarets Store until 5pm daily during the week, or from the Clarets Store in Charter Walk until 5.30pm.
NB: The ticket office will be open until half time.