Sean Dyche feels that Burnley’s delicate balancing act is a recipe for success.
The injury-hit Clarets head to Selhurst Park tonight looking to add to their tally of 12 clean sheets, a total bettered only by champions Liverpool.
At the opposite end of the pitch, only four teams have racked up more wins than Dyche’s men.
And the gaffer hopes to improve on both records in their latest behind-closed-doors against the Eagles in South London.
Dyche said: “I’m delighted at the balance of the team at the moment. The number of clean sheets is pleasing, and I think we are the fifth highest in number of wins.
“People have always said we defend to counter, but we do try to win, you know.
“It’s hard sometimes because there’s another team trying to peg you back, but 12 wins is a decent tally at this stage of a season.
“We’re sat on 42 points and if we can get a few players back, I think we’ll be in very good shape. As it stands, I think it’s going to be a challenge with the group we’ve got.”
Dyche, who will be without strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood and wide man Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson tonight, also has injury doubts (hamstring) surrounding Jay Rodriguez, whose 50th goal for the Clarets clinched victory over Watford last Thursday evening.
And the manner of that win, coming on the back of the defeat at Manchester City, gave Dyche plenty of reasons for optimism.
“On and off the pitch it was a challenging week, for different reasons,” he added.
“But at the end of the day we are there to play football and I thought the players were fantastic against Watford.
“It has been a tough time for the club, the players and myself, so it was good to see there is still a clarity.
“I marvelled at the levels of performance for two games in four days. Obviously, City did what they do, and that can happen there, but we still ran five kilometres further than anyone else and that’s a lot.
“So, to repeat that and run hard again against Watford and find that moment to win a game is testament to the will and endeavour.
“For the same group of players to do that, with no excuses, was very pleasing.”
Kick off at Selhurst Park tonight is 8pm, and Clarets Player will have full match commentary, from 7.45pm.