Sean Dyche is determined to keep trying to propel the Clarets up the table – but admits it won’t be easy.
Thursday night’s 1-0 victory over Watford gave Burnley their first points since football’s restart and lifted them up to 11th place in the standings.
Only once before have the Clarets posted a higher points’ total in the Premier League than the 42 they now have following a 12th win of the season secured by a second-half goal from Jay Rodriguez, who then went off with a knock to the foot and a tight hamstring.
Dyche hopes the problems aren't be too serious and the frontman won’t join striking colleagues Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood and widemen Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson on the absent list for Monday night’s trip to Crystal Palace.
But the Burnley boss knows his stretched resources will make it a severe test over the closing month of a protracted season which has seen the Clarets suffer defeat in just one of their last nine league games following a four-match losing streak after Christmas.
“It’s very rare it’s smooth sailing all the way through and this certainly hasn’t been,” said Dyche.
“But we’re at 42 points with seven games to go. If we had a few more players back I think we’d be in very good shape.
“As it is, I still think it’s going to be a challenge over the next seven games for the group that we’ve got.”
That doesn’t mean the Clarets – whose best points’ tally remains the 54 they accrued to finish seventh and qualify for Europe in 2018 – won’t still be aiming high after ending a tough week on and off the pitch on a winning note.
“We are limited with the squad numbers, but I’m not going to say anything other than my intention is to play hard and play strong. I think the team will go about it the right way as we normally do,” added Dyche.
“Nothing statistically is done yet, of course, but 42 points at this stage is a fair marker, especially with so many question marks coming out of the Covid situation and then being well beaten at Manchester City and all that went on.
“To come through that is a real testament to the professionalism of the players, so we will park that now and get on with the next games as they come.
“We’ve got a lot of challenges still to come, both with the games and our own group with injuries and lack of playing numbers.
“But the mentality was clear against Watford yesterday and we want that mentality going into the games coming up and we want to get as many wins and points as we can.”