James Tarkowski admits Everton gave the Clarets a wake-up call they can’t ignore if they are to steer clear of relegation danger.
The Merseysiders’ 5-1 win at Turf Moor on Boxing Day left Burnley firmly in the Premier League’s drop-zone as they conceded five times at home since Manchester City dished out six of the best in April, 2010.
An honest Tarkowski knows there can’t afford to be a repeat if the Clarets are to stage a revival in the second half of the campaign.
And he is demanding an upturn in performances from himself and his team-mates to turn things around.
“At the moment we are not performing individually, or as a team, to the level we need to be to stay in this league,” said the England international ahead of Sunday’s visit of ninth-placed West Ham.
“Things need to improve, but I wouldn’t want anyone else in the dressing room with me, or the manager and the coaching staff around us, because if anyone’s going to do it then it’s going to be us who are going to turn it around.
“We do enough training and enough work on what we need to do. It’s as simple as going out there, performing to the best of your ability as a group and as an individual, winning your battles and the points and performances will come.
“Maybe after the big defeat against Everton it’s a bit of a realisation that people need to up it, including myself, and that’s what we will be looking to do in the next few games.
“The fortunate thing for us is that there are still teams around us and teams below us, so with a few quick points on the board we can work our way up the table.
“But we need to start doing it soon.”
Everton’s goal rush means the Clarets have now conceded more goals this season than they did throughout the entire 2017/18 Premier League campaign, when a seventh-place finish propelled Sean Dyche’s men into Europe.
Tarkowski played a key part in that success – when Burnley let in just 39 league goals – and knows tightening things up at the back has to be the way to start a recovery.
The defender added: “We didn’t always perform at our best, but we just found ways to keep clean sheets and always nick a goal, while this year we seem to get punished every time.
“We give away one or two chances in the first and we seem to concede two goals, so that’s where we need to improve. We need to stop conceding silly goals and start keeping clean sheets.
“We are nicking goals here and there, so if we can keep our clean sheets we will be getting points on the board, so that’s probably the most important thing.”