CAPTAIN Chris McCann believes the Clarets are capable of mounting a serious challenge in the Championship next term.
The 24-year-old midfielder feels the current season of transition has been a useful learning curve for the squad, and will only bolster the ambitions of his team-mates to push for promotion to the Premier League.
“This season has been a massive learning curve,” claimed McCann. “We’re a young team and there’s a lot of new faces; it was always going to be a transitional period. It was always going to be difficult to overhaul the team we had in previous years. We weren’t going to click overnight, it was always going to take some time. There have been good signs to show what we’re capable of doing, we just need to be consistent on a regular basis.
“We’ve all had a good season under our belts and we’re a good, ambitious, young squad. We don’t want to be languishing mid-table in the Championship, we want to be fighting for the play-offs, we want to win promotion and we’re going to take that in to next season.”
As it stands Burnley’s season is effectively over in terms of crafting a top six finish, following the 1-1 draw with Coventry City at Turf Moor, but McCann is intent on leading an unbeaten march in the final three fixtures, starting with Leicester City tonight at the King Power Stadium.
“A point is a point but we’re disappointed because I think we were still in with a shout of grabbing sixth place, albeit very difficult,” he said. “We had to win all our games and it’s a shame that we didn’t get the victory to continue our run. Roll on Tuesday night which is going to be another tough game and we want to give a better account of ourselves.
“If we play well it’s going to give us confidence and we’ve all spoke about it in the changing rooms about wanting to go on the best run we can until the end of the season and try to remain unbeaten. That’s our main aim to try and give the fans a little lift, a little something to look forward to. Hopefully we can take things on and give ourselves something to build on for next season.”
One flaw McCann is hoping to extinguish as soon as possible is the Clarets inconistency which has undoubtedly counteracted their push for the Championship play-offs. Dropped points against the likes of the Sky Blues, Watford, Portsmouth and Millwall on home soil have somewhat taken the gloss off victories away at West Ham, Middlesbrough and Brighton.
“It’s been a bit up and down and I think inconsistent is probably the best way to describe us this year,” said McCann. “We’ve had some really good wins - away at West Ham and Middlesbrough - but then we’d take our foot off the gas for some reason and put in a poor performance, lose a game, draw another game, and before you know it we’ve broke our good sequence. But all the tough games like Watford away will put us in good stead because we don’t want those things happening to us again. We’ll learn from that and hopefully put it right.”
McCann added: “You’ve got to look at the games against the bigger teams.
“It’s hard to take because they’re sitting pretty in the top six and we’ve beaten those teams while we’re sat in mid-table.
“We believe we should be there but a couple of bad performances have cost us and that’s where we’ve slipped up.
“We’ve gone in to the big games and performed really well but, no disrespect, we’ve not beaten the lesser teams which we should have done.”