Charlie Taylor believes he’s already a better player than the one who made his Premier League debut in December.
Taylor came off the bench to make his top-flight bow and help the Clarets beat Stoke City and go fourth in the table on a heady night at Turf Moor.
Since then wins have proved elusive but Taylor has started every game.
And the former Leeds United left-back has proved beyond doubt that he’s Premier League material with an impressive run of performances that have helped Sean Dyche’s side stay in the top seven.
“I think I’ve improved from last season just in these last two months alone. You are learning on the job, coming up against the players you are week-in, week-out,” said Taylor, whose first two outings since his summer signing from Elland Road had come in the League Cup.
Charlie Taylor played for an hour of the win over Stoke on his Premier League debut
“The Premier League is so tough. You’ve got a top-class winger up against you every week.
“Even when you’re not playing the top six, there’s a Zaha or Shaqiri. It’s a very tough league but one you want to test yourself in.
“All you want to do as a professional is play week-in, week-out and I’ve had the chance to do that for the last couple of months. It’s been brilliant and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Taylor’s chance in the side came following a knee injury to Stephen Ward which ended the Republic of Ireland international’s ever-present run.
Ward is now fit again and battling to win back his shirt with 11 games to go this season.
But as the pair jostle for position, Taylor would doubtless like the chance to scratch one itch, the lack of a league win since he came into the Clarets’ starting line-up.
“We had a tough run of fixtures when I came into the side. It was a challenge but one I’ve loved and the three points now are what I desperately want to get,” added the 24-year-old who will hope to face Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
“I’ve played in teams before when we’ve not won in however long and it is hard and things do get frustrating.
“But you’ve just got to stay focused and stay calm and if you keep on playing well the results will come.
“I think it’s in your mind. I think everyone would say it’s in your mind somewhere, but it’s something you’ve got to blank out and take the next game that comes along and the aim, as always, is to get the three points.
“The performances have been good, other than maybe at Swansea, and we have picked up some good results along the way – the draw against City being the highlight.
“A draw against City is nearly as good as a win but the three points is what we need and now with a couple of home games coming up hopefully we can get there.
“We maybe had an off day (at Swansea). I think Saturday will be different, with us being at home and having the crowd behind us, and hopefully it’s a good one.”