Sean Dyche feels it is a badge of honour that Burnley are being touted in the band of clubs chasing a European spot.
The Clarets head to West Ham United tonight (Wednesday) with an opportunity to move up to eighth place, which could yet be enough to snatch the last Europa League spot.
Three points would also take them to 49 points and within a handful of equalling the club’s best Premier League haul of 54, achieved the last time the Clarets qualified for Europe, two years ago.
And Dyche, whose consistent side have lost just once in 11 games either side of the lockdown, takes great pride in the fact his players are again pushing the boundaries against some illustrious challengers.
“It’s a show of respect that we continue to find a way to win games and stay in and around the thinking,” admitted the Burnley boss.
“If you think back, 11 games ago that wasn’t the case. The noise then was considerably different, but we have come through that spell.
“Most teams do have a bad spell in this league, so to be on the edge of things in terms of talking about Europe is good for the group and myself.”
“But we are a constant work in progress here and there are no bold statements of delusions of grandeur.
“You can lose focus at times on what you are trying to achieve, even as managers.
“You work so hard to get points on the board and if we had a full squad, I think it would be a more simplistic challenge, but unfortunately we have been limited.
“Within that, it’s not to forget the points we have got and hopefully we will add more.”
The Clarets hope to have Chris Wood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady to call on again at The London Stadium, after the trio returned from injury in the weekend draw against Sheffield United.
Opponents West Ham have won just two of their last 15 Premier League games, but will have gained confidence from the impressive home win over Chelsea, followed by a precious away point at Newcastle.
Dyche added: “We are asking a lot of our players, but we’ll go again. West Ham have had the ups and downs that are part of the nature of the Premier League, but that’s how difficult this league us.
“Forty six points at this stage is no mean feat for clubs like ourselves and West Ham, who are a big club, also know how tricky it is.
“They have some very good players and they haven’t always put it together this season.
“We hope they don’t on Wednesday, but we have been competitive in most games and that’s what we’ll be looking to take down there.”
Clarets Player will have live commentary from West Ham, from 5.45pm on Wednesday.