Burnley boss Vincent Kompany still “isn’t counting” despite Championship leaders extending their advantage over Sheffield United in the title race
Vincent Kompany is still "not counting" the gap at the top of the Championship after Burnley moved 13 points clear of rivals Sheffield United in the title race.
The Clarets moved another step closer to a Premier League return as their 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor was bolstered by the Blades' defeat at home to play-off hopefuls Luton Town.
Middlesbrough continued to apply the pressure in their push for automatic promotion with an impressive 3-1 triumph away at Swansea City, though Michael Carrick's men remain 17 points adrift of the leaders with just 10 games remaining.
"We're still not counting, but it's good," insisted Kompany. "We played against a team that has got something to fight for at the moment and we saw how difficult that was against Blackpool. Therefore, I'm very happy with the result and everything we did in the game today."
Nathan Tella got the ball rolling in the 14th minute when getting on the end of Anass Zaroury's cross and glancing a header beyond Latics goalkeeper Ben Amos.
The visitors, who are bottom of the table and six points adrift of safety, were reduced to 10 men just before the half-hour mark when Omar Rekik was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Tella grabbed his second of the afternoon, and his fourth headed goal of the campaign, with an effort from close range once Jordan Beyer had intuitively flicked Zaroury's corner into the six-yard box.
It was the Southampton star's 14th league goal of the season as he ended a run of six games without one. Kompany said: "It's very difficult to stand out because there are that many players who have stood out for us this season.
"He's definitely showing signs of improvement to his game. If you look at the Nathan Tella we got through the door at the very beginning of the season, to the things he does now, he's slowly getting to a level where he's fulfilling some of his potential. In my opinion he's still got a long way to go, but it's exciting to work with a player like him.
"Tim Cahill made a career out of it [headed goals]. It's about timing and the quality of deliveries. He positions himself very well between defenders and he doesn't try to go and fight. Usually those balls dip in-between the two defenders, which gives him a chance. He did really well with those."
Lyle Foster, who replaced Ashley Barnes just after the hour, then got off the mark for the Clarets with a brilliant first-time finish from fellow substitute Michael Obafemi's lay-off.
The South African striker became the club's 19th different scorer this season as the table toppers scored three goals in a game for the 13th time this season while extending their unbeaten run in the Championship to 16 games.