Clarets defender Kieran Trippier admits that the pace and precision of the Premier League has forced him to take a more methodical approach.
The 23-year-old is eager to add to his 14 Championship assists last term but is understandably still finding his feet in England’s top tier having played a total of 360 minutes.
Trippier has so far found his role relatively restricted after facing the likes of Eden Hazard, Wayne Routledge, Angel Di Maria and Wilfried Zaha but he accepts that becoming more disciplined is part and parcel of the division.
“I’ve not been told to step back - I was just a bit more attacking in the Championship,” he said. “This year you’ve got to pick and choose the right times because of the quality of the wingers that I’m playing against.
“In the Championship wingers wouldn’t track me as much so I’m still learning. I’m coming up to my fifth game now. People should see a lot more of me going forward. We want to be tight at the back. I want to make sure the back is locked off first then I’ll pick and choose my moments when I go forward this year.”
That mentality has contributed to an admirably miserly defensive record to date with just one goal conceded in three previous league outings.
And the former Manchester City youngster praised the impact that boss Sean Dyche has had on the club’s organisational prowess since arriving at Turf Moor.
Up to Eddie Howe’s exit in October of the 2012/13 campaign the Clarets had leaked 27 goals in 13 games in all competitions. Dyche immediately addressed that permeable nature and the following season the Clarets kept 19 clean sheets on the way to promotion.
“We’ve defended well with two clean sheets in the last two games,” Trippier said. “Before the gaffer came in we were conceding quite a lot of goals.
“He came in when we were in the Championship and he tightened it all up and we had one of the best defensive records last year. And, as I saw the other day, we’re the only team not to concede in the second half so far this season.”
Trippier added: “It’s helped with all the work we’ve been doing in training. The gaffer takes the defenders on his own and we do a lot of defensive work, looking at positioning and distances. We work hard on that and then take it in to the games.
“He’s helped me a lot personally since he came in. You can see it with all the clean sheets we kept last year and we’ve kept two on the bounce this year. When the old gaffer was here we were getting caught out too many times.”
However, Burnley’s goalscoring record hasn’t been as impressive. Scott Arfield’s strike in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea has been the only breakthrough so far. Trippier’s ambition now is to help improve that statistic.
“I feel teams have been targeting me a little bit,” he said. “I’ve been working on it with Woany, the assistant, about ways I can get forward and when I should do it. I believe in myself and I believe in my ability. Against Chelsea it was difficult because there was Hazard, Matic, Schurrle and I’m finding my feet at the top level.
“I’ll be looking to make late runs, picking and choosing my moments when I go, crossing from deep. I’ll find a way.”