Sean Dyche wants the Clarets to complete the job they’ve started by making themselves mathematically sure of playing Premier League football again next season.
A run of three successive wins has put Burnley on the brink of safety going into the Easter weekend.
Dyche’s side doesn’t play until Monday evening and a trip to Chelsea when a point would be enough to kill off any lingering threat of relegation – bar a late swing of seismic proportions in goal difference – if Cardiff City lose at home to league leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
But Dyche doesn’t want outside forces to determine the Clarets’ future after seeing his side pick up 27 points since Boxing Day to climb to 14th-place in the table – including a vital three from last Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Welshmen.
“We have four important and tough games coming up, as do the others,” said the Burnley boss, whose side faces three of the top-four sides during the run-in.
“There’s lots to play for and we have to continue to play hard to get what we want.
“It’s not done until it’s done, but we are on a good run of three wins, very important wins, and good performances that have backed those up.
“Ideally we want to take care of ourselves. That’s what we’ve done historically. That’s our mindset.
“We want to look after ourselves and not rely on others, so that’s what we have to try and do.”
Defender Phil Bardsley will be assessed over the next couple of days to see whether he can return to the squad at Stamford Bridge, having had the stitches removed from the gashed leg that has forced him to miss the Clarets’ last two games.
Striker Peter Crouch is back at Barnfield following appendix surgery and with just over three weeks left in the season not yet ruled out of the manager’s plans.
“Crouchy is back on the move but not quite there yet,” Dyche added.
“He is literally taking his first strides, loosely, on the training ground, but not with us, more with the sports science team.
“We’ll see how he goes. He feels in a good place at the minute.”
Steven Defour definitely won’t play again this season as the midfielder continues his rehabilitation following calf surgery in March.
A variety of complications have limited Defour to just six Premier League starts since January, 2018.
But Dyche believes the former Belgium international is doing all the right things to facilitate a comeback.
“He’s not going to be right for this season, but he’s making very good progress,” said Dyche.
“He’s in a good place with it all. He’s had a lot to take on this season and I think, overall, he has handled it well.
“It’s not easy. He had a fantastic season last season until he got injured and then it’s been a work in progress this season to try and get everything back in order. But he’s in good spirits.”