George Boyd believes Burnley are in better shape to survive in the Premier League than two years ago.
The Clarets were relegated in the midfielder’s first season with the club, having arrived as the club record signing for £3m from Hull City.
Burnley failed to win any of their first 10 games, before beating the Tigers, but despite recording another win over Hull in the return match, were demoted with three games remaining.
Boyd believes the players have learnt from that experience and revealed that the squad is confident of staying up on this occasion, as they go in to the term on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run in the league.
Asked whether he feels the squad is better equipped this time around, he said: “I think it is. The experience has helped and that has made everyone a better player than two years ago.
“We just need to keep on playing the way that we have been.
“We were unbeaten in 23 games so we’ll take a lot of heart from that.
“We don’t know the feeling of losing at the moment.
“We know we can play at that level.
“I think we would have been safe easily if we had won in those first 10 games last time.
“The experience of playing at that level and the confidence that everyone will take from how well we did last time will help.
“We’re more than confident of staying up.”
He added: “From the 10th game, we’d have cruised it if we’d managed that form earlier on.
“We’ll take great confidence from that and the experience will be good, it’s mostly the same squad as last time with a few additions.”
Burnley have been relegated in both previous Premier League seasons, and Boyd hopes it is third time lucky: “Last year we broke a lot of history records so it will be good to do that again next year.
“I don’t think we can just aim for 17th, we can aim higher, the first marker is to survive but we can do better than that.
“We had pressure last year as being one of the favourites which we dealt with, now people expect us to go down again and we’ll deal with it.
“The underdog tag we had last time was brilliant for us and we’ll use that again this year.
“I think we should be aiming for more than just survival.
“That’s the main aim, staying in the league, but we shouldn’t set our sights on finishing 17th.
“We should be aiming higher than that and try and go as far as we can.