Clarets boss Sean Dyche feels it is far too early to talk of a promotion charge – despite picking up a sixth win in eight games.
Burnley beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday to climb to fifth place in the Championship, level on points with second, and four adrift of leaders Brighton.
Dyche returns to former club Nottingham Forest tonight, but is sticking to the mantra which served him well two seasons ago, one game at a time: “It’s way too early (to talk about promotion).
“We’ve all seen the ups and downs of the division and how it changes.
“Our main focus is on the next game, it’s as simple as that.
“The group work hard and in a correct manner I feel and they’re supported by a good staff, so we focus on that. We get the next one, we take it on and see where it takes us.
“That’s been a focus of mine for a long time. It’s not just words, it’s how I believe how it should be done.
“We’re not so deep in thought that we think we can plan three games ahead, we plan for the next game. That’s the most important one.”
A brace from Andre Gray claimed the headlines, but a third third clean sheet of the season was also welcome: “We’re really pleased with that because we’re talking about a centre forward but it takes a team behind that and the structure of the side was again good. That’s a valuable part of it and the two centre halves were excellent. They dealt with everything that was thrown at them.
“I think there’s a good feel about the group at the moment but it has to be looked after. It doesn’t just maintain itself. We have to look after it as a staff and the players have to look after it as individuals, stay focused on the next one.
“We’re realistic about the division, we know it’s tough, so as much as we enjoy the win, we know there’s another big game (at Nottingham Forest) so the focus will quickly swerve towards that.”
Of Gray, Dyche waxed lyrical, after he took his tally to four goals in five starts: “We’re enjoying Andre and I think he’s enjoying being here.
“He’s getting a connection with Vokesy, which is always interesting to see, two strikers linking up.
“He has a rawness and desire to score goals, and that’s a fantastic thing.
“I think there’s an edge to Andre’s football. All strikers need that. They smell a goal and he certainly does, and that’s the real magic of a striker. They’ve got that relentlessness, they don’t get fazed easily. We just want to nurture that and keep him in that mindset.
“There’s no fear in him, and that’s a golden thing for strikers. The best ones have no fear. They miss, they don’t care, they just go ‘give me another chance’. He’s definitely showing that.
“He’s a player who’s adapting and learning. If you look at his pathway to where he is now a lot of it is the rawness of learning as he goes and that’s a fantastic thing to have, it makes him slightly different. He’s not a player who has come through the academy system who’s making the runs he’s been coached, he actually works in a different manner.”
His £6m fee isn’t weighing heavily on his shoulders at all, and Dyche continued: “There’s no pressure on him, we certainly don’t work in that environment here.
“I don’t think he overthinks it - he’s with a group that don’t overthink his situation, moving for money - we just get on with it. The market’s out of these players’ hands, it’s just what it is. They’re just humans, they just want to adapt and do well for us.”
Dyche will check on George Boyd’s fitness after he was forced off in the second half against Bolton with an ankle problem.
Boyd has started every game so far and Dyche said: “Boydy rolled his ankle so we’re hopeful on that one, but we’ll see.”