Sean Dyche saluted his players as the Clarets ground out a win over Cardiff City that edged them closer to Premier League safety.
Chris Wood’s brace opened up an 11-point gap over the 18th placed Bluebirds, who play twice more before Burnley’s trip to Chelsea on Easter Monday.
And with a third successive home win secured, Dyche admitted his side were now in pole position to achieve a fourth straight season in the top flight.
The Burnley boss said: “Until it’s certain, you don’t want to presume anything, but the win puts us in a very, very strong position and we’ve gone a massive step towards that (safety) today.
“If you look at Cardiff’s next games, they have three out of five away and it’s tough going away in the Premier League.
“But, from our point of view, it’s more important to get it factually done and we are doing a fine job of that.
“That’s 27 points in 15 games now, which is a fantastic run of form - and the players deserve an enormous amount of credit.
“I did say at Christmas that we are a strong outfit and we’d keen going. It’s been a tough season for many reasons, and continues to be until it’s factually done, but we’ve laid down a good marker.”
Chris Wood struck a post early in the game before heading the Clarets ahead just after the half hour, from a Dwight McNeil corner.
Chances to extend the lead came and went before half time, after which Cardiff rallied before the two players again combined for the Kiwi to notch his 10th league goal of the campaign.
“Three wins in a row in this league is very hard to achieve and we’ve come out of that with a really gritty, organised display today,” added Dyche.
“The game should have been over at half time, with the chances we had, and that was frustrating.
“It wasn’t and credit to Cardiff. They went for it and threw bodies forward and it took us 25 minutes in the second half to find our footing.
“They had a big chance when Hoilett put one over the bar and it’s that strange thing in football, where we almost calmed down from that moment. We grew from there and finally we got the killer blow.”
The big talking point of the second half was a penalty awarded to Cardiff at 1-0, when linesman Darren Cann flagged to alert referee Mike Dean that Ben Mee handled in the area.
However, after reviewing the incident and talking via headsets to all four officials, Dean overturned the decision, rightly adjudging Mee to have accidentally headed the ball onto his arm.
Dyche said: “I was aggrieved that it was given by a linesman 70 yards away. It’s improbable that you can see that incident because of Ben’s body shape and the referee hasn’t given it.
“Ben ‘faces’ it; he doesn’t head it, and it’s impossible he did that deliberately.
“That is the key. He’s gone to head it, it’s hit his eye socket and gone down his arm and that, for me, is impossible to give, so I’m pleased the right outcome was reached.
“To be fair to the ref, it’s a massive call and I thought he showed real strength he showed to clean that moment up.
“We question them sometimes, but that was a really big call and the right one.”