James Tarkowski is ready to keep defying the odds and looking up the Premier League table.
The Clarets were down to just a dozen fit and available senior players for their trip to Crystal Palace on Monday night – where they also lost midfielder Jack Cork to an ankle injury which saw forced him out of the action in the second half.
But despite their threadbare resources, Sean Dyche’s men recorded a second successive 1-0 win to move level on points with seventh-placed Tottenham.
And Tarkowski insists the players aren’t planning to take the easy option with the prospect of a challenge for European qualification still on the cards.
“We could make easy excuses but we’re not allowing that to happen. We want to go out there and win football matches,” said the Clarets’ defender who marked his 300th appearance in club football with another imperious performance in the middle of Burnley’s back four.
“There’s no chance and the gaffer won’t let us do that. He’s made a point of not letting us do that and as a group we’re not happy to do that.
“We want to go out there and we want to win games. There are opportunities there for us.
“We’ve picked up six points and we can see many more games coming up where we can pick up points, so we’re looking up and hopefully chasing the teams above us, rather than looking down.
“We’ve lost a couple of great lads and great players and it’s not nice to see faces leave but we’ve got to deal with the numbers we’ve got and hopefully a few lads will come from injury, which will be nice.
“European football? We’ve been there once before and it’s something else we want to do. There are a few games to go but there are points to pick up, so we are looking forward to the start of this run-in now.”
The Clarets had a tough start to the league’s resumption with a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.
But they haven’t conceded a goal in 180 minutes since to set a new club record of 13 clean sheets for a Premier League season.
And Tarkowski praised the collective spirit in the Clarets’ camp that helped see them over the line at Selhurst Park after skipper Ben Mee’s first goal for three-and-a-half years had set up a fifth away win of the season.
“I was very proud of that performance,” added Tarkowski – ever-present so far in a side that has now lost just one of their last 10 league games ahead of Sunday’s visit of Sheffield United.
“We came here with very limited numbers, with five or six young lads and Longy on the bench, which isn’t ideal to go into a game like that.
“But to put in a performance like that with another clean sheet and stick it out the way we did was brilliant.
“I’m really proud of us as a team. It’s not easy when we’ve got such limited numbers.
“But we’re dealing with it and coping really well and to get six points from the last two games is terrific.”