Ben Mee welcomed a ‘massive step’ towards keeping Premier League football at Turf Moor as the Clarets made it a hat-trick of wins.
Mee and his defensive colleagues chalked up back-to-back home clean sheets as a Chris Wood double completed a 2-0 win over Cardiff City.
And with an 11-point advantage over the Bluebirds – who occupy the final relegation slot – Sean Dyche’s in-form side looks to have guaranteed their top-flight status as they climbed to 14th place in the table.
“It would be nice to have it definitely mathematically sewn up, but we have taken a massive step,” said Mee – a central figure in a seventh home victory of the season.
“It’s a massive win. It gives us that bit of breathing space between us and the bottom three and I think and it’s a really good win for us.
“There was a bit of a gap before the game, but it was nice to do the job today.
“The last few weeks have been massive for us; three big wins and they’ve seen us push towards that nice 40-point mark.
“We have got some big games to look forward to now – four big games against top quality sides and we can see what we can do and how far we can go.”
With a remarkable haul of 27 points in the second half of the campaign, the Clarets are one of the form sides of the division outside of the two-horse title race.
But Burnley had to dig deep to hold off a second-half challenge from Cardiff, who remain five points adrift of possible safety.
After dominating the first half and missing a handful of chances to add to Wood’s headed opener, the Clarets were under the cosh when they survived a penalty scare.
Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot after assistant Darren Cann had flagged for a spot-kick for handball against Mee.
But after a discussion between the officials, the decision was over-turned with the hand-ball deemed not to be deliberate.
“I thought it wasn’t a penalty straight away,” explained Mee, who was again a pillar of strength at the back for the Clarets.
“The liner gave it and I don’t think the referee was sure.
“He went to speak to him, and I think it was the right decision. I couldn’t do anything about it. My arm was by my side and the ball hit me in the face then hit me on the arm.
“Tom (Heaton) calmly said go and speak to him and it was the right decision.
“You never know what’s going to happen or what’s going to be said. It was a big decision and he made the right one, I think.”
With Mee and his defensive colleagues standing firm, Cardiff were given few sights of goal.
And in stoppage time, Wood struck again with his 10th Premier Legaue goal of the season to ease the tension and further convince the Clarets’ fans they will be watching top-flight football for a fourth year in a row in 2019/20.
“They are fighting for their lives and came out strong in the second half,” added Mee.
“We should have been two or three up at half-time. We did well to see it out and I think it was a decent, solid defensive performance.
“We have reacted well to a tough start to the season and gone on to play well after the Christmas period. We have picked up some vital wins.”