Sean Dyche felt his side’s biggest challenges are to come following the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The Clarets dug in to deny the Gunners until the 71st minute at the Emirates, until Alexis Sanchez finally broke their brave resistance.
The £30m Chile international then sealed the victory in the dying moments after Calum Chambers had scored Arsenal’s second.
And Burnley boss Dyche insisted his side learned another harsh lesson to Arsene Wenger’s title challengers.
He said: “I feel like the reality of the Premier League is unforgiving and a harsh reality.
“Teams like this have unbelievable quality and look at the players coming off the bench, let along who is already on it.
“People might say we have been defensive, but we have played two strikers in every single game this season bar one. We want to be brave, but you can’t be brave and stupid and I don’t think we are.
“But some teams have quality everywhere and that costs multi-millions of pounds and we don’t have that.
“The players are in a high state of learning, including myself, because it doesn’t get any higher than this.
“We are ready to try and attempt to compete in this market. We’re not ready for the top 10; we know that, but we are ready to challenge beyond that in our real market to see whether we can compete against the bottom teams.
“The players have to grow quickly and I have my fair share of that.
“I am in a results industry, but there has to be a future on what you do.
“You can’t rely on a lucky win, or another one because you are never going to improve and build a team by relying on luck.
“You have to build it by method and I think ours is reasonably sound. Btu we are coming up against teams who are of a higher level. There is no negative in that.
“There has to be a reality in what we are achieving and looking to achieve. It’s been an amazing journey, but there is a different weapon out there that is against us this season.”
Dyche restored fit-again Dean Marney to the starting line-up following four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and deployed Danny Ings in behind Marvin Sordell.
And the tactic worked for long periods, with Tom Heaton restricted to routine saves before Sanchez’s header finally put the hosts ahead.
He added: “I thought the tactical plan worked reasonably well. There was a good energy and shape to the team and pockets of good quality.
“But the facts are these teams get ahead and make life very tough. They get you by the throat and don’t let go and that’s what happened today.
“Tom didn’t have too many big saves to make and then all of a sudden had four or five out of nowhere.
“They were on the front foot after getting their noses in front and the second one so quickly was a killer blow.
“But the challenge and the reality is not today, or Chelsea or Manchester United. We have played six of the top 10 now and that’s not our real.
“There are no guarantees there, because look at the signings (next opponents) Hull have made. But all the talk at the minute is about getting that first win, but guess what – then you need another, and another.
“The win will come, that’s not really a concern. It’s when, and then how many you get after that. That’s the thing!”