James Tarkowksi is relishing the chance to try and overhaul Tottenham and stay in the thick of the action at the sharp end of the Premier League.
The Clarets face Spurs at Turf Moor on Saturday evening (KO 5.30pm) knowing victory will take them above Jose Mourinho’s side and possibly as high as seventh in the table.
And the prospect of making such a move is not lost on Tarkowski, who has played a key role in an unbeaten six-match run which has lifted Sean Dyche’s men from the fringes of the relegation places to the scrap for places outside the Champions League spots.
“This weekend is a great opportunity for us,” said the Clarets’ defender.
“It’s exciting to be able to go out there and know if we can get the win we can go above Spurs.
“Obviously, there are games beyond that we still need to continue to perform in, but what a great opportunity as a team to say if we beat these this weekend, we go above them.
“It’s an exciting time for us and the club because we can go and chase the teams around us.
“We haven’t got to just look down below us and just think we’ve got to keep away from them.
“There are teams around us we can try and chase and get after, so it’s an exciting prospect.
“We’ve got to look to perform and show what we’re all about and try and catch those teams above us and work up the table.”
While the Clarets have steadily been banking the points, Tottenham have lost their last four games in all competitions, including a mid-week penalty shoot-out defeat to Norwich City in the FA Cup.
The absence of leading scorer Harry Kane and Son Heung-min – who have scored 33 goals between them – has been felt, while Christian Eriksen’s departure in the January transfer window further diminished manager Mourinho’s attacking options.
But Spurs still have England international Dele Alli, big-money January signing Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura – a hat-trick scorer in last season’s Champions League semi-finals – to call on.
And Tarkowksi insists the Clarets will not take the threat lightly as they look to repeat last season’s home win over the Londoners and chalk up an eighth home success of the campaign.
“We’re not too concerned about what formation they play, or who plays,” he added.
“We look at ourselves a bit more and make sure we do our job right and then we can deal with any issues on the day.
“They are still a squad of very talented players, so I’m not expecting an easy day out, that’s for sure.
“There’s still a player in front of me I’ve got to stop scoring goals and as a team we’ve got to beat 11 men, so the job’s not any easier.”
Tarkowski and his defensive colleagues have proved hard to pass in recent weeks, with the Clarets keeping four clean sheets in their last five games and 11 for the season in total.
Nick Pope is leading the way for individual goalkeepers, while Tarkowski and sidekick Ben Mee fill two of the top three places for blocks in the Premier League.
Both central defenders have played every minute of the season for Burnley so far and Tarkowski believes that build-up of momentum has helped him produce some of the best form of his four years at Turf Moor.
“I think it’s probably up there,” said the England international, who is staking a serious claim for an international return at the end of the month.
“I feel good. The whole season has worked in quite nicely.
“I had a good pre-season behind me, which is always important for me.
“To be at my best I need to be playing all the time. I’m happy with the way things are going and hopefully that continues until the end of the season.”