Barton looks to power through

You only have to look back to the last Championship campaign to gauge the importance of a strong finish to the season.

Friday, 26th February 2016, 10:00 am
Burnley's Joey Barton tackles Rotherham United's Frazer Richardson Photographer David Shipman/CameraSport Football - The Football League Sky Bet Championship - Burnley v Rotherham United - Saturday 20th February 2016 - Turf Moor © CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] -

At this stage last year, with 33 games gone, eventual runners up Bournemouth sat fourth in the division while champions Watford occupied the final play-off spot, both on 59 points.

By that standard the Clarets are currently ahead of the curve, totalling 62 points from an identical number of fixtures.

Midfielder Joey Barton is happy to be involved with the most in form team in the second tier and he’s confident that Sean Dyche’s side are perfectly poised to push for the title.

“Since the defeat at Hull I think we’ve been the best team in the league,” he said. “And I would always be part of a team that’s finishing stronger than a team that starts well then has to try to maintain to get over the line.

“We are going along really nicely and as you always see in this league the team that finishes strongest generally wins the title.

“We’re in a good spot. The highest compliment I could pay it is if you offered me today the opportunity to be in any of the other camps, I wouldn’t take it. I would pick Burnley.

“I think we’re in a great spot, we’re getting better as a team.”

The 33-year-old added: “Our daily habits, our training habits are exceptional. The group’s getting stronger.

“Training is at the level required and we just keep pushing forward. There is a long way to go, there are 13 games left but if you’d have offered us or anybody to be a point off the top at the back end of February you’d have taken it.

“We’ve got the top scorer in the division, you look through the side and we’ve got competition in key areas, we’ve got players coming back to fitness, we’ve got a really strong bench.

“It’s a great league. It’s going to be tough between now and May but I think with 13 games to go we’re right where we need to be.