Goalkeeper Tom Heaton firmly believes that experience counts for a lot in the Championship.
Nine members of Burnley’s current squad, including Ashley Barnes, featured on more than 10 occasions for Sean Dyche’s side during the 2013/14 promotion season, while the likes of Joey Barton (Newcastle United and QPR), George Boyd (Hull City), Matty Taylor (West Ham) and Stephen Ward (Wolves) understand what it takes to escape the clutches of the division.
And the Clarets are drawing on that background and wisdom to help boost their chances of a top two finish.
“We think it helps,” said the England international. “Without looking too much at anyone else, the majority of our squad has got that experience and there’s a lot to say for that.
“We’ve only really tasted success. We know what it required, we know what it takes. With this squad and the ability that will take us close.
“There is a very good feel at the moment. It won’t always go our way, and that’s when the experience will come into play, we’ll keep things tight, there’ll be no negativity creeping in or panic buttons being pressed, we’ll keep doing what we do and keep looking to give everything we’ve got.”
The club’s recent run of form, with 17 points taken from a possible 21, has sparked a sense of familiarity for the Turf Moor skipper.
Two terms ago the Clarets saw off Premier League chasing rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby County, plus Blackburn Rovers at Ewood, to stretch their advantage in the automatic spots.
On this occasion they’ve clawed their way back towards the summit by beating the Rams and the Tigers on home soil, with Sam Vokes’s strike proving decisive in the latter.
“It’s looking good,” he said. “We turned out at the start of the season without quite hitting our best, but we still churned out and ground out a few really good results and built on it.
“Of late we’ve been excellent, and we’re looking to kick that on again and keep progressing.
“I can see the similarities to it. That promotion year – like any season in the Championship – three wins on the bounce can really give you a massive boost.
“We’ve been doing that, picking some really good results up, but that comes from how we’re going about it.
We’re not going to win every game, there are going to be bumps in the road, it’s not always going to go our way, but one thing we will do is keep putting performances in like that and carry that attitude forward.
“We know we’ve got quality, so if we get the other side of it right, like we have been doing, then we’ll give ourselves a great chance of putting those results together which will kick us right up there.”
Heaton added: “You don’t want to give anything away to the teams around you, so if you can beat them you can get things back or increase the gap as it may be.
“We don’t want to let it slip. We’ll be thinking about overtaking these teams and increasing the gap.
“We do that by focusing on us and not taking too much notice of what’s going on around us. It’s the last few games of the season that you do that, but at this moment there’s a long way to go.
“We need to keep building and keep pushing forward. We’ve got enough about us to do that.
“But it’s not all singing, all dancing, there’s a long way to go and we’re ready to roll the sleeves up a bit more and keep mucking in and moving forward.”