Sean Dyche takes the Clarets to Southampton this weekend for a reunion with the striker whose sale kick-started a golden era for the club.
The gaffer dates Charlie Austin’s move away from Turf Moor to QPR in August 2013 as a “watershed moment” for the Clarets, who overcame his departure to win promotion to the Premier League.
Four years later, Burnley are enjoying their third season back in the top flight, having won the Championship and retained their Premier League status.
And the Burnley boss now believes the club are reaping the rewards of realigning supporters’ expectations, during a transitional time early in his reign.
He said: “Expectation is built on reality, in my opinion.
“It’s been that way here ever since we sold Charlie and you can timeline everything back to that.
“He did a lot of good stuff for us and he’s a great lad and a top player, who we wish well.
“But he went on and has played a number or Premier League games and we’ve moved on and moved forwards. That’s how this club has changed with the times.
“There’s a scratch of luck needed along the way, but back then, did I ever think we’d be buying players for £15m? No, I didn’t.
“But we’ve had to move this club forwards in many different ways and selling Charlie was a watershed moment when everyone thought, ok, here’s a bit of reality because we’ve just sold the main man at that time.
“We have built the expectation form then, but the point is it’s built on reality, not conjecture and opinion.
“The club has been forming and moving forward and building off and on the pitch.
“Any rising expectation, either internally, or externally, is, I think, therefore on a reality basis.”
The Clarets go into the weekend sat in seventh place in the Premier League, having lost just two of their opening 10 games, and with wins behind them on the road at Chelsea and Everton, in addition to draws at Tottenham and Liverpool.
“We have probably exceeded a lot of outsiders’ view, especially after the start we’ve had,” added Dyche.
“Being seventh is a good start, but we still know there’s a balance to it and we know the challenge of the Premier League is very difficult and we don’t take anything for granted.
“The Premier League is a very unforgiving place, and our expectations always has that reality to it, which is about concentrating on the next game simplifying everything.
“So, I don’t think backwards a lot, but sometimes you have to reference where we were and where we now are.”
The Clarets hope to have Chris Wood available for selection again at Southampton, while Nahki Wells could also feature following his hat-trick for the U23s on Thursday night.
Live commentary of the game at St Mary’s is available on Clarets Player HD, now available via the new official club App.