Dan Black's verdict: Vincent Kompany and NFL great J.J. Watt are two peas in a pod and their top level mindset is a huge plus for Burnley
From the NFL to the EFL: Houston Texans great J.J. Watt was at Turf Moor as a guest of chairman Alan Pace to take in Burnley's 3-0 win against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
The legendary defensive end was sporting club colours as he accompanied wife Kealia Ohai — an ex-USA international — in the Bob Lord Stand as Vincent Kompany was reunited with his former Belgium coach, and one-time FA Cup final foe, Shaun Maloney.
The now four-time Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month was first acquainted with the American star in 2017 when Pep Guardiola took his Manchester City squad stateside for pre-season.
The Blues would take the Premier League by storm that season, winning the title by a margin of 19 points over rivals Manchester United, restoring the crown they'd relinquished three years prior, while accruing a three-figure points return in the process.
At this rate, with 10 games of the campaign remaining, that could well be the gap that separates the Clarets from the eventual runners up in the division, and they could also mark their triumph by becoming only the sixth club at this level to hit the magic 100-point marker.
There's nothing in the world that breeds success like success. The mechanics of Watt's mindset rubbed off on Kompany after their meeting at the NRG Stadium nearly six years ago, and it won't do his players any harm having him around ahead of the final run-in.
Whether the now-retired star is a potential investor, following in the footsteps of two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins, or whether he's simply working on a docuseries with Ad Hoc Films, his presence could be invaluable. "He's a legend," exclaimed Kompany. "If there's a game on I'll watch it. Being a manager means a lot of hobbies were sacrificed with the career choice. I met him before when we [Manchester City] played in Houston and having great athletes around the building is something I would always encourage.
"Having these people you can talk to, you will see that there's always a common trait amongst these great athletes across all disciplines. It's a type of relentlessness, the way they've handled difficult setbacks in their careers; he's had a lot of injuries as well, which is something I could relate to immediately."
"It's the most important thing to teach to our players, having that top level mentality and mindset. By exchanging with these people you just get more confirmation that this is what we need to be doing."
Tougher tests are to come, as will be shown in a week's time when Burnley go to the Etihad, but the group is demonstrating the kind of qualities that will help them stay above water in the top flight.
Victory over relegation-threatened Latics might have been a walkover, but whether the league leaders are ahead, level or behind, their habits don't change. The minimum requirement is maximum effort, and nobody will work harder.
Kompany continued: "I know we'll come up against stronger opposition than us eventually, and teams can be better, more talented, but I don't think any team should be more hard-working, determined or more willing to work together than us. I think that gives us something different and that is what has been on show this season.
"It's the size of these guys [NFL players]; you know he's not part of our dressing room when you see him. He did a training session in the gym this morning and I think our young lads now know that there's still a lot of progress to be made.
"He's lifting serious weights. He's a very humble person as well and somebody who fits into the type of place that we are. It's great having him around."
The statistics are seriously impressive. The club's 23rd win of term in the second tier — just three short of the final total in both 2013-14 and 2015-16 — was the 13th time they'd scored three or more goals in a game.
It brought them their 16th clean sheet in the league, stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games, and preserved their sequence without defeat at Turf Moor, which now stands at a rather remarkable 22 fixtures.
Game number 36 was as straight-forward and as uncomplicated as they come. The visitors looked every bit a side stricken with off-the-field controversies just 48 hours before kick off.
Maloney confirmed to our sister title, Wigan Today, that it had been an 'emotional' and 'difficult' couple of days, with the delayed payment of wages, for the fourth time this season, interrupting their preparation.
They stood very little chance of recouping anything from the game when Nathan Tella converted Anass Zaroury's cross with a free header in the 14th minute.
And their odds of climbing off the foot of the table plummeted further when Omar Rekik, already on a booking for fouling the goal-scorer, collected another yellow card for taking down the home side's leading scorer as the last man just before the half-hour mark.
"It's been a very difficult 48 hours or so," said the Latics boss. "I think once you get on the pitch, players get on with the game.
"But certainly the preparation was affected by what's happened.
"It's been a very emotional couple of days, and very difficult for everyone."
He added: "In terms of on the pitch, I was actually super proud of the last half an hour.
"Once you're down to 10 men, they're a very difficult team to play against.
"The players showed resilience right to the end, and the supporters showed resilience right to the end, which we really appreciated.
"There's a lot of pride - which is not always the case after a 3-0 defeat - but there definitely was today."
In all honesty, aside from a couple of scares late in the first half, the hosts could have turned the screw and punished the League One bound Latics at any point.
Arijanet Muric earned his keep when making two exceptional saves to keep out Steven Caulker's close range header and Ashley Fletcher's attempt, once left clear by Hjalmar Ekdal's error.
"That's a side of his [Aro Muric's] game that deserves to be highlighted more," said Kompany. "The saves, both of them, were terrific, outstanding. Then there's the rest with what he does on the ball as well.
"For him, as a goalkeeper, he can still improve a lot, but these moments give you the confidence to know that you can be decisive for a team. It's not the first time that he's kept a clean sheet for us and we're very fortunate to have two very good goalkeepers."
But Burnley should've been out of sight. After their opener, which was as much a product of the home side's tenacity out-of-possession as it was their excellence on the ball, with Vitinho robbing Ryan Nyambe, they should've had more.
Tella's effort across goal almost kissed the outside of the post, Johann Berg Gudmundsson's set-piece was steered wide of the upright, and Ian Maatsen's looping shot was turned over by Ben Amos.
As soon as Tella made it 2-0 within two minutes of the restart, when scoring his fourth headed goal of the campaign as Jordan Beyer intuitively flicked Zaroury's corner his way, the rest was a breeze.
Amos denied Ashley Barnes from close range at his near post, Zaroury went within a whisker of finding the net when Charlie Hughes stepped up at the wrong time in an attempt to cut out Tella's pass, and the Moroccan international lifted the ball over the bar once Vitinho's cross had broken for him.
However, with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, having gone close with a shot on the spin already, substitute Lyle Foster became the club's 19th scorer this season when breaking his duck.
The South Africa international, who moved from Westerlo in January, drilled the ball from left-to-right, beating Amos with a first-time strike from fellow substitute Michael Obafemi's lay-off.
Kompany concluded: "It makes sense with the type of chances we create. We had 27 shots, I bet there was a lot of different players who had an attempt. It's part of the design of how we play."
Again, tougher tests are to come, but the Clarets just have to keep beating what's out in front of them!