Sean Dyche toasted the new year as he celebrated his 100th league win as Burnley boss in the comeback win at Huddersfield.
Goals in either half from Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes – both taking their tallies to five for the season – cancelled out Steve Mounie’s opener for Town, who have now lost eight league games in a row.
And following back-to-back wins that lifted the Clarets up to 16th in the Premier League, Dyche cut a contented figure.
He said: “After five games we had one point, so there has been hard work done and look how we are beginning to grow again.
“There’s more to be done, but the response has been fantastic.
“Back to back wins, home and away and coming from behind to win. I can’t ask any more of the players than that.
“We know there’s a lot of work to be done, but we are beginning to look like our old selves other than the blip against Everton.
“The connections are coming back and we are beginning to find our groove, but we have to go again and build momentum and the only way to do that is to keep performing at the high levels that we know we can.”
Mounie headed Town in front on the half hour mark, only for Wood to notch his 100th league goal five minutes from the break, as he swept home Dwight McNeil’s cross.
Moments later, the hosts were reduced to 10 men after Chris Schindler received a second yellow card – after not knowing he had earlier been booked!
That handed the Clarets the initiative and after probing throughout the second half, Barnes finished the move of the game by sweeping home Ashley Westwood’s through ball 16 minutes from time.
And despite a late flurry from the hosts – and a straight red card for substitute Robbie Brady for scything down Isaac Mbenza, the Clarets held on for a precious and deserved three points.
“I’m really pleased because this was an awkward game,” reflected Dyche, who had no complaints at Brady’s dismissal.
“We were probably favourites on the back of a good result, but we know it’s no easy task to win back-to-back games in the Premier League.
“Early on, after they scored, I thought we stayed really calm and there was a big belief in the group.
“We scored a worthy goal and at that stage we were playing well. They then got their red card, but even in the second half I thought we stayed calm and kept probing.
“The fans stayed behind us and they’ve been brilliant, by the way, because they can get anxious and want us to get it forward, but we kept shifting them around to open them up and it worked out.
“Really, I thought we saw the game out well and coming from behind to win a game is another big plus.
“For a long time we didn’t do that, so that’s another psychological marker.”