Sean Dyche has challenged his players to carry their unbeaten run into a welcome break.
The recent FA Cup exit heralds a two-week hiatus following Saturday’s Premier league game at Brighton, where, if they avoid defeat, Burnley will set a club record of seven unbeaten Premier League games.
And with injured players slowly returning to full fitness, that would be the perfect sign-off for Dyche as the season enters a crucial phase.
“It would be good to go into the break still unbeaten this calendar year, but our goal is not to drag anyone back in," said Dyche, whose side can draw level on points with 13th placed Brighton with a win at the Amex.
“Our goal is to perform, and we’ve been doing that. I think we’ve been a tad unlucky with decisions, but our mentality has been super-strong and we’ve just got on with it.
“The mentality continues to improve and there is a lot of edge to our game now and plenty of positive feelings around the performances, not just the results. I’ve been really pleased with that.”
Tomorrow’s opponents are looking to put behind them a mid-season lull that has seen them win just one of their last 10 league games – a run that began with a 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor in December.
But Dyche warned: “The fact we are on a good run owes us nothing. We have to earn a result and that’s what we’ll look to do again.
“We are aware of their situation and they’ve had some tough results after a solid start to the season.
“But from Brighton’s point of view, it’s tough to go a full season in the Premier League, when you are outside the top six, without some form of a tough run.
“That doesn’t mean they are not a good side, but I am sure there will be a feeling of that going into the game. We’ve perhaps got a bit more freedom, but the only way we can capitalise on that is if we go down there with a good mindset.”
Dyche should again be able to call on wide men Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who both returned following injury against Southampton last weekend.
And the gaffer admitted he was delighted to finally see the treatment room slowly emptying.
“Robbie and Johann were both out there last weekend, which is good news,” he added.
“Behind that, Steven Defour is coming back to full fitness, but is not quite there yet. Matt Lowton was back out on the grass on Thursday for the first time in a month and is making good progress.
“Kevin Long has a knock too, so we’ll make a decision on that ahead of the weekend, but we’re beginning to get back to full fitness.
“I’ve been trying to get that all season and we’ve not quite got there.
“Beyond Saturday’s game, we have a window where, hopefully, we can get more or less everyone back to full fitness.
“It’s been very frustrating, but we are hopefully coming to the end of that choppy spell that’s carried on from pre-season.”
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