Striker Sam Vokes feels Burnley laid down a marker against Hull – and wants more of the same at Reading tomorrow.
The Clarets moved to within a point of the Tigers, and two of new leaders Middlesbrough, with a 1-0 win at Turf Moor on Saturday.
And with Burnley unbeaten in the league since Boxing Day, Sean Dyche’s side are in a rich vein of form ahead of the visit to the Madejski Stadium.
Vokes, who scored his fourth goal in six games to see off Hull, said: “We know what the league is all about, Saturday was a big game.
“We knew if Hull won, they would have a big margin between us.
“It was important to put a marker down, and I think we did that.
“Maybe earlier in the season we weren’t picking up points against teams around us, but we’re showing now that we can do that in big games.
“I think, with the month we’ve had, and the run we’re putting together, it’s important we keep that going.”
Burnley didn’t claim their first league win until their fourth outing, at home to Brentford, but since they climbed into the top six with the win over Sheffield Wednesday in September, they haven’t slipped out of the play-off places since.
But defeat at home to Reading at the end of September was a setback, and Vokes admitted: “I think we were probably slow starting this season.
“A few results didn’t go our way, but we stuck in there and we know what the team is all about.
“It’s paid off and we’re starting to put results together.
“Nothing is a given, we go to Reading for another tough game – they come thick and fast in this league.
“We all know we’re a strong outfit, especially in our fitness and the way we go about our jobs.
“Every man on the pitch works really hard for each other, and it is paying off.”
When Reading won at Turf Moor in September, they went second in the table, but the Royals have slipped to 15th since.
Vokes anticipates a tough test as Burnley defend a three-match unbeaten run away from home: “Any away game in this league is a tough game. It doesn’t get any easier at Reading, they beat us here at the start of the season, so we’ll be looking for a bit of revenge for that result.
“They were very strong when they came here, they are a strong outfit and we’ve got to be careful with them, but we’ll be going there full of confident from our last few results and performances.”