Sean Dyche believes the Clarets are still in good shape as they head into 2020.
Back-to-back defeats over Christmas have stalled Burnley's progress and left them in 13thplace in the Premier League.
But those two losses were at an Everton side lifted by the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti and at home to a Manchester United team beaten just twice in the league since early October and chasing a top-four place.
And with an impressive 12 months’ work behind them, Dyche insists the Clarets have plenty to be positive about as they prepare to welcome in the New Year against Aston Villa at Turf Moor on Wednesday (KO 12.30pm).
“You have to prepare for every game, and I don’t look at there being games we could win and games we should win,” said the Burnley boss, who has master-minded five vital home victories this season over sides who came to Turf Moor in the bottom half of the table.
“We want to win points. We’ve shown over the calendar year that we can do that.
“From the turn-around after Boxing Day last year to before Saturday night we’d taken 52 points from 38 games and we got 54 over the season to get into the Europa League (in 2018).
“That doesn’t take my eye off what happened in the United game, but we have got to look at the bigger picture sometimes.
“Have we moved forward? Yes, we have. Now we have more work to do, but that’s the standard thing in the Premier League. You can’t switch off.”
The Clarets were punished for errors that led to decisive goals against both Everton and United as they ended the year on a losing note.
But a stirring second-half performance against Manchester United as the Clarets pressed for an equaliser has given Dyche’s men momentum to take into the game against Villa, who have dropped into the bottom three on the back of five defeats in their last six games.
“Villa have had a tricky spell and they will want to respond,” added Dyche.
“But we know what we do and we want to perform back here at the Turf.
“The crowd were excellent again the other night and they are an important factor, getting behind the side as they do.
“We’re in good shape. We still have a lot of good work to do, but it isn’t too long since we weren’t in good shape, so there’s plenty to look forward to.
“Now and again you do have to remember where you were and where you are and a lot of the good work that’s been put in by all concerned.
“That bodes well but we have to make sure we hit the standards of the second half the other night because if we hit that regularly enough then you will win games.”