Sean Dyche was delighted to put any relegation concerns to bed in Burnley’s penultimate game.
The Clarets won 2-1 at Wolves to mathematically confirm their Championship status, and Dyche feels it is the least his side deserves after a season like no other at this level.
There was a scenario where two of 10 clubs could have been relegated on the final day, depending on Saturday’s results.
But Burnley made themselves safe in 14th place after goals from Danny Ings and Martin Paterson, and Dyche said: “It’s been absolutely amazing. I don’t think any manager and coach can define it. They’re all scratching their heads in wonderment.
“It’s exciting for fans but not when you’re standing on the touchline and things are going against you, but they’re nice when they go for you like (Saturday). We deserved it. And overall we’ve absolutely deserved to be in the division.
“Some of the things that have gone against us I can’t believe. I’ve never had as many referees’ decisions go against me. Ever.
“That alone in itself if worth points on the table.
“We’ll see where it takes us, adding to what we’ve got to move forward.”
He added: “I think we’ve worked very hard for it. We haven’t had a scratch of luck since I’ve been here with decisions going against us and different things, people’s injuries etc, but we’ve navigated the team through the hardest Championship season I can ever remember as a player, coach or manager, so I’m pleased with that.
“There are things that we can improve on, as ever, there are things we’ll look to improve on but Saturday was tremendous. I thought they handled the occasion very well, handled the game very well, controlled football at certain times and dealt with an onslaught after going down to 10 men. The tactical organisation worked..”
The side looked to have the balance Dyche has been searching for between defensive solidity and attacking potency, and he said: “We’ve not been far away from it in many games, the margins are so fine.
“There’s an instant reaction, a fan reaction (to games). I go away and watch the games with no noise, and when it’s quiet and you’re looking at it without emotion then you see that some of the performances haven’t been a million miles away.
“We’ve seen it at Blackburn, we played ever so well and last minute, three and a half yards off-side (equaliser), what can you do.
“Forest we ground one out, didn’t play great, but ground one out, then last minute (equaliser).
“There’s been a lot of that gone on and that masks over some of the good work because people often judge everything by the result.”
And he feels his players, and his own managerial career, will benefit from a brush with danger: “These are players that are developing and they’ll grow from occasions like this, especially when you do what Ingsy did in the first half.
“His general performance was good. It was just at the end when he ran through for glory when I would have preferred to put it in the corner!
“Wolves had a couple of maybes, they put a lot of stuff into our path from corners and set pieces, but we had two chances and I don’t know how one of them stayed out. You do have that moment when you think ‘not again surely’.
“I thought we were certainly good value to be two-up by half-time, but then we scored the second and managed the game really well. I was very pleased with how the players managed the game out from then on.”
Michael Duff’s dismissal with 25 minutes remaining complicated matters, but Dyche had no complaints: “It happened, we got on with it, we regrouped, reorganised and the players delivered a very thorough defensive performance to see the game out.
“They’ll grow from these occasions. It’s a hard one for fans because fans want you to win every week and so do I. But the biggest growth comes from when you’re at stretch and we’ve been at stretch the last few weeks - mentally and physically the team have been at stretch, and myself planning and organising.
“I think I conduct myself in the right manner and I think my team do, and I’ve been very pleased with that, outside of my results of course.”