Sean Dyche sees clear signs that his players are discovering their spark ahead of a testing spell of games.
The Clarets boss admitted that due to a combination of factors, his side have not hit the heights of last season, when a highest league position since the mid-1970s brought European football back to Turf Moor for the first time in half a century.
But ahead of Newcastle United’s trip to Turf Moor on Monday, which signals the start of nine games in 37 days spanning the festive period, Dyche can see the shoots of a return to form.
He said: “We haven’t hit the markers of last season and they have been addressed, individually and as a team, and now we have to get back to that start point and push on.
“We are still in front of the curve. I know the facts and figures of our side from my six years here.
“We know the breakdown, whether its physical, tactical, technical, individual or team. But we’re not just accepting of what we had five or six years ago; we are pushing them because the game is moving forwards every year.
“We are equally mindful of all that, but it’s a building process and we’ve come out of a really tough start to the season, on the pitch with the number of games and off it with all the injury problems.
“All those are differing challenges, and in the ensuing period of calm it’s now about keep pushing.
“There’s still more to come, but the structural side and physical side are returning, so we are getting back to what we can be.”
Dyche, who has Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson both available for selection against the Magpies, along with Robbie Brady, - who came through two games for Ireland last week on his return to full fitness - added: “I’ve been very pleased with the players’ training in the past fortnight.
“The pride they have in how they work is enormous and they have shown me they are keen to get back to it.
“Equally, I am proud of the players for what they give - and the more they continue to give, the more chance we have of success and getting results.
“I think there are signs of that, but we are working hard to get back to those levels.”