Midfielder David Jones insists there’s more substance to the Clarets squad than the Derby County side that became the Premier League’s worst ever casualties.
The Rams accumulated a record low tally of 11 points during the 2007/08 campaign which included just one win as Kenny Miller scored the only goal against Newcastle United at Pride Park.
Jones, who was on the bench for that solitary triumph, felt the club’s instability severely hindered their campaign. Managerial changes saw caretaker boss Kevin Thelwell cushion the transition between Billy Davies and Paul Jewell, Chief Executive Trevor Birch and chairman Peter Gadsby left their roles before American group General Sports and Entertainment purchased the club.
“We’re totally different,” said Jones. “It was a struggle that year with Derby and there was the sense that it wasn’t a stable club in the background. That year there was a few changes with the manager and the chief executive and the takeover so it was a club more in turmoil.
“Here you feel the gaffer is building something and you feel we’re going in the right direction. It might not seem like it but we have moved forward as a squad from last year and you can see that in training and in some of the play on Saturday.
“Football is judged on results so it might be difficult to see that from the outside but we know from the inside that it’s a club moving forward.”
He added: “This club with the manager, players and staff is a lot more stable. We’re definitely a different animal to the team at Derby.
“Any experience you have to learn from. It was a difficult year but one that I’ll definitely learn from. Hopefully it’ll help me bring something to the table this year. At Derby you felt the squad wasn’t as together and that isn’t the case here. That won’t be an issue.
“There’s a cohesion. Last year was a special year. For me personally I felt it was the strongest team spirit and squad that I’d been involved with. We’ve added players who have added to that and added to the quality and the feeling in the dressing room.”
After going 10 games in England’s top tier without a win, Jones now feels the Clarets need to take the lessons learnt from that punishing baptism in to the remainder of the campaign.
Going in to Saturday’s clash with Hull City at Turf Moor, Sean Dyche’s side have just four points courtesy of draws against Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Leicester City.
“You’d probably look at it and think we’d be despondent and negative but at this club, since I’ve been here, there’s always been a very positive squad,” said the 30-year-old.
“The manager and staff have never dwelled on disappointments. We’re a very resilient group of players and going in to this game on Saturday we’re feeling positive.
“It is more difficult. Last year when we were winning every game it was a lot easier to come in with a smile on your face, but when you’re not winning the default mode is to not be as happy.
“We came in to the league realistic, knowing that we wouldn’t be winning games like we were last year. We’re still hurting inside but with the squad being so together it lifts everyone. It keeps us positive and going in to the game on Saturday it’s the most positive I’ve seen the lads this season.
“We need to learn very quickly and learn what it takes to win at this level. We can’t concede goals the way we have done as a team and we also need that bit of clarity and confidence in front of goal - whether it be a midfielder making a pass or the striker making the right decision. It’s a collective thing. We all need to up our game from last year. It’s natural because it’s the Premier League.”
Jones added: “I haven’t really noticed any panic; the support has been brilliant. But it’s a natural way of thinking when you’re 10 games in without a win. As the games go on you just want to get the win - especially being a newly promoted team.
“There’s definitely no need to panic. You don’t play good football when you panic and that’s a message the manager has spread throughout the squad. We’re not naive or hiding away from the situation but we just want to be in the best environment to go out and perform on the pitch. We need to be relaxed and enjoy our football.”
The Clarets won eight times in the Premier League during their inaugural term in 2009/10 and a quarter of those victories came against the Tigers.
Graham Alexander’s double secured maximum points on home soil - as Brazilian Geovanni was dismissed - while another Alexander double along with strikes from Martin Paterson and Wade Elliott cancelled out Kevin Kilbane’s opener in a 4-1 triumph at the KC Stadium.
This term Steve Bruce’s side are seven points above the Clarets in 14th spot despite spending in excess of £30m in the summer on the likes of Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass, Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Diame and Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez.
“To be realistic there’s kind of three leagues within the Premier League,” said Jones. “We knew our aim this season was to just stay in it. We give it our all every game whether it’s Arsenal or somebody in the bottom half of the table.
“But against teams around us in the table you feel there’s more of a chance to pick up points. That’s evident because we already have this season. A win would be massive. It’s a lot easier to come in to training when you’re winning games. It makes it easier to stay motivated and in high spirits. The win gives you that belief and it’s a missing ingredient that you can’t manufacture. It’s something that changes within you and the team.”