Midfielder can’t believe how far the club has come

Burnley's Scott Arfield

Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport

The Premier League - Sunderland v Burnley - Saturday 18th March 2017 - Sunderland Stadium of Light - Sunderland

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Burnley's Scott Arfield Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport The Premier League - Sunderland v Burnley - Saturday 18th March 2017 - Sunderland Stadium of Light - Sunderland World Copyright � 2017 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Scott Arfield has to pinch himself whenever he contemplates the club’s development since he first walked through the doors almost four years ago.

The 28-year-old, who joined the Clarets after parting company with Huddersfield Town, has been a part of the evolutionary process under Sean Dyche for the most part, making 49 appearances in his first season as Burnley were promoted to the top flight as Championship runners up.

From that point the Clarets have endured the drop from the Premier League, engineered an immediate return as champions and are now hoping to retain their status among the country’s elite in the final four games of the campaign.

That progression, though, hasn’t just been confined to successes on the pitch. The club has flourished on every axis imaginable, moving well in to the black financially while the £10.6m Barnfield Training Centre complex is all but complete.

“It’s unbelievable, I was talking about that the other day actually,” said the Scot. “You deserve what you get and go and try and work for it, but I think we’d be lying if we said we thought we were going to be in this position four years ago when I came in on trial and Heats came in from Bristol City.

“I don’t think we could have seen how much we would have kicked on but more so the club and where the gaffer has taken this club, it’s sitting in a great place financially, the personnel is great, the training ground, he’s taken it to another level and I think everyone associated with it gets a major pat on the back for how far we’ve come.”

Arfield added: “You could see from him as a manager and his staff that with the right team and the right squad he could take it to the next level and it happened.

“It was no shock to us. His vision has remained the same since the first day I came in and I think that shows with the players as well, we’re singing from the same hymn book, everybody knows their role, we don’t get ahead of ourselves and that’s why we’re in that position.”

Arfield is expected to be back in the 18-man squad for the trip to Selhurst Park tomorrow when the Clarets take on Crystal Palace.

The Canada international missed out against Everton and Manchester United after sustaining a knee injury in training.

And he’s relishing the competition that he faces to get back in.

“From the first season it gradually got better,” he said. “With the money that the club has now got it obviously enhances it on the playing side.

“Once you’re out for a few games it’s so hard to get back in and I think that’s right. If you’re not pulling your weight or your performances aren’t up to scratch then you miss out and you’re disappointed. We’re very strong out wide.”