CLARETS midfielder Wade Elliott feels the squad can deal with high expectations.
Quietly going about their business, Burnley moved into a highly promising position on the back of five wins from six.
But one point from nine has prompted questions as to whether the players can handle a different kind of pressure, as the club look to achieve their minimum aim of a play-off place.
Elliott feels the side have made a rod for their own backs over the last couple of years, but the players are not hiding from their responsibilities.
Asked about the expectations of the fans, he said: “I think we’ve always had that a little bit. It’s a positive and a negative.
“But if we want to be at the top of the leagues you have to cope with those expectations.
“That’s fair comment. I don’t think anyone in the dressing room’s afraid of that.
“I think that comes with coming off the back of promotion and a year in the Premier League.
“Everybody’s desperate to get back there. As players we recognise that the fans are desperate for us to get back there, and we’re no different.
“As badly as they want us to win, believe us we want to win more than anybody, and we’d love to get promotion more than anybody else.
“We completely understand that. “
It is often said the players have to give the crowd something to cheer, but Elliott feels it can work both ways: “Sometimes the crowd are impatient for us to be winning games.
“There have been games when we’ve been ahead and there have been grumbles from the crowd.
“I guess the flip side of that is that we’ve got to be strong enough to deal with that.
“But there’s a great saying in football that when you go to an away game a jeer from their crowd is a cheer for us and I think sometimes our crowd have got to realise what a big help they can be when they get behind us.
“Everyone at the football club’s the first to say what a help they’ve been, and if they realise that by being positive and getting behind us they can make this a really intimidating place to come, and that when as a group of players we’re not quite at ourselves like we have been in one or two games recently, they can help us.
“I know it’s sort of a chicken and egg situation, sometimes. people say that the players eed to stimulate the crowd, but the crowd can do it for us and help us sometimes, and in fairness to them they have done in the past plenty of times. “
Despite the poor run ahead of the international break, Elliott remains positive about the position Burnley are in - three points from the play-offs with a game in hand: “I would imagine we’re in a similar position to where we were the year we went up.
“It felt like when the manager came in and we were hitting a little bit of a run and getting momentum there was a good feeling about the place.
“I don’t think we should let the last couple of games detract from that.
“I think if you look at the last 10 or 11 games there are a lot of positives to take out of it. We’ve had a blip in the last few, we know we can do better, hopefully it will prove that that’s all it was - a slight blip.
“Hopefully we’re still on an upward curve and we can carry that forward momentum.
“We’re in seventh position with a game in hand and three points off the play-offs and if we’d have won the last couple we’d have been building up a bit of steam and you’d be approaching that position a lot more positively than we are currently.”