Dan Black's verdict as Clarets show the Canaries how it's done at Carrow Road
"If you're ever going to take it on, now is the time to say 'well, if everyone thinks we've got no chance, what's the worst that can happen?' Nothing is done, agreed or finished."
Unbeknown to him at the time, Sean Dyche had just delivered his final monologue as Burnley boss, with a 2-0 loss to Norwich City all-but consigning his side to relegation from the Premier League.
The ex-Watford defender had been at the heart of the inquisition at Carrow Road as goals from Pierre Lees-Melou and Teemu Pukki had left an unsavoury, unpalatable aftertaste.
The 'worst', from Dyche's perspective, happened five days later, when his dismissal was 'done, agreed and finished' on Good Friday, ending a decade-long reign at the club.
It was a bold move from chairman Alan Pace — one endorsed by some of the squad's most recognised and reputable members — and it was a decision that would be vindicated.
Fast forward 10 months and the conversation with Vincent Kompany, who occupied the same post-match spot as his predecessor, underpinned the revolutionary changes at Turf Moor under the new regime.
His table-toppers had just sent a statement to their promotion rivals when humbling David Wagner's play-off hopefuls, as Anass Zaroury, Vitinho and debutant Hjalmar Ekdal found the target in a 3-0 triumph.
Incidentally, Dyche’s first game in charge at Everton, which was also given an early kick-off slot for TV coverage, concluded in a 1-0 victory over Premier League leaders Arsenal, with James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil, who both featured away at Norwich last term, combined for the winner.
"Teams that do that are teams that don't care about it too much because there's a bigger picture that's more important," he said, when asked about the prospect of equalling a record 10-game winning sequence in the Championship. "Today they've set a benchmark, but they've got to go over that benchmark again.
"I don't think you can get used to winning. I think every time you win, that desire keeps you on your toes. That winning culture or attitude is something that comes from within the team, a hate of being defeated, reacting in a way that makes you better.
"We have to [get better], I'm sure we can!"
A ninth success on the bounce in the second tier — one short of the milestone set by Fulham and Aston Villa — emulated the stretch of Jimmy Mullen's Fourth Division title-winning side in 1991/92.
Mike Conroy had netted for the fourth time in succession as the Clarets beat Northampton Town at the County Ground, backing up wins over Carlisle United, Wrexham, Walsall, Lincoln City, Halifax Town, York City, Mansfield Town and Maidstone United.
The Championship leaders could now match a couple of statistical landmarks when Lancashire rivals Preston North End come to town at the weekend.
Should the Lilywhites fail to burst Burnley's bubble, and leave empty-handed for the first time in five away fixtures, it would see their hosts match a club record that has stood for 96 years.
Zaroury's eighth minute finish, when capitalising on Tim Krul's unforced error, was the 26th league game on the bounce in which the Clarets had scored, a pattern only bettered in 1926, though that came over two campaigns.
Wagner recognised: "Burnley deserved this win, for sure, because we weren't mature enough or smart enough, we didn't concentrate enough, and this can't happen. In the first 20 minutes we looked a little bit nervous in ball possession.
"I think you can compete against Burnley, who are a top side, we've seen it today, but if you want to compete you have to make sure you don't make mistakes and not as many big ones as we did."
The German-born ex-USA international had set his side up in exactly the same way he had done when the Canaries put four past Ryan Lowe's PNE and then Coventry City.
Kenny McLean would drop deep and split his own centre backs, Grant Hanley and Andrew Omobamidele, to dictate proceedings from deep-lying positions, full backs Max Aarons and Dimitrios Giannoulis would get high up the pitch, while Joshua Sargent, Kieran Dowell and Onel Hernandez would anchor striker Teemu Pukki in a system that would mirror their opponents.
Wagner had managed to get a tune out of Dowell and Hernandez, who had been pushed to the periphery under Dean Smith, and they, along with the team-mates beside them, would be encouraged to press energetically and aggressively by their new boss.
The EFL Championship Manager of the Year in 2016/17, who won promotion to the top flight with Huddersfield Town via a play-off final win on penalties over Reading at Wembley, knows what it takes to make strides in this division.
However, he met his match in Burnley, a side whose excellence on and off the ball can not be replicated at this level. The home side had the right approach tactically, but the Clarets did it better. Much better.
"The guys have done well, they've impressed me in terms of dealing with the different challenges we've come up against," said Kompany. "Norwich is completely different to playing Birmingham City, they're two completely different challenges, but the team seems flexible enough to go from one game to another and have a good showing. That's what we've got to continue."
The first was a gift, as Zaroury punished Krul to become the first player in the squad to reach double figures this season, though it had been coming, as the visitors unsettled City, pressed the life out of them, and exposed their fragilities and vulnerabilities when playing out from the back.
Hanley blocked from Tella on the cover after the Southampton ace had won possession from McLean and Ian Maatsen injected too much side spin into his effort when whipping Zaroury’s pass wide of the far post.
The latter broke the deadlock when City’s Dutch stopper played the ball straight out to him, before Johann Berg Gudmundsson forced the goalkeeper to beat away his free kick when Tella had been grounded by Omobamidele.
Burnley were so dominant all over the park that Norwich were limited to just one shot on target; Dowell’s effort from Pukki’s pull back drew a fine save from Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who kept the ball out with an outstretched leg at his near post.
The hosts dictated territory and possession for a spell, but they failed to inflict any significant damage before the break. At that point, you felt the away side had the game won.
A masterstroke from Kompany saw Vitinho double the lead from Gudmundsson’s corner just seconds after replacing Tella and then, from another wonderful delivery from the Icelander, Hjalmar Ekdal opened his account for the club, becoming goal-scorer number 17 this term.
Kompany said: "90 per cent is execution. For every guy that scores a lot of goals from set-pieces, go and thank the guy that kicked it. Johann has consistency, experience, quality, he scored against QPR with a direct free kick, he put the ball in for [Jordan] Beyer as well when we scored against Coventry City, so it's the execution. Any young player should be looking at how he takes his set-pieces, because that makes the goals.”
And that was that, as the Clarets claimed a 39th point from the last 42 made available to them, while Sheffield United’s stalemate against Rotherham United saw the gap at the top stretch to seven points.
Burnley’s last trip to Carrow Road had ended in despair and a feeling of impending doom. This was the complete antithesis; the latest visit was a shining beacon of evolution, hope and glory.