Clarets boss Sean Dyche is delighted to see Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger proving the doubters wrong again.
But he is aiming to knock the in-form Gunners off their impressive stride at Turf Moor on Saturday evening (kick-off 5-30 p.m.).
Arsenal travel north top of the Premier League form table, on the back of nine successive league wins.
Burnley, however, are in confident mood, having taken points off five of the top seven so far this season – Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Spurs and Southampton, and Dyche looked ahead to the test against the man nicknamed “The Professor”.
He said: “Massive credit to Arsene Wenger for the form they are in, he is a legend of the game.
“The last couple of seasons he seems to have been questioned, but the perception doesn’t always tally up with what he does there.
“They are second, up there again, with a chance of an upset and catching Chelsea, and an FA Cup semi-final to come.
“He is a fantastic manager – you only have to look at the success they have had down the years, the way they play, and the business and financial side of the club.
“As a young manager I’m still learning, but I look at people like that and think it’s unbelievable what he has achieved.”
Dyche revealed that Wenger was glowing in his praise of Burnley after the Gunners’ 3-0 win at the Emirates in November: “He was very kind and courteous about what we are trying to achieve and the challenges we have.
“And I know Steve Bould well from our youth team days when I was at Watford – their training ground backed onto ours, and we used to grab a coffee and a chat about players and stuff like that.”
While there is a great deal of respect for Wenger, Dyche is out to add to the haul of five points from seven successive games against top eight sides, with the final one tomorrow: “People didn’t give us a chance outside the club of getting any points from this run, and we have five, which has been a real positive – along with two clean sheets.
“We’ve spoken about the idea of playing with freedom and clarity, and you can do that even more so against the super powers because people expect so little of us – not us and the fans though.
“But we are confident at home, we like the atmosphere created, especially the last few games, and we want to deliver and win games.”
With seven games to go, Burnley remain well in touch of safety, and Dyche added: “Our big mantra pre-season was to be competitive, and we have certainly been that – there are a small number of games which have got away from us, but we have to keep that competitive edge, which I know we will, as it gives us a chance in every game.”
Meanwhile, Dyche is hopeful that Matt Taylor (Achilles), Ross Wallace (knee) and Steven Reid (calf) will be back in contention for a place in the squad.
Dyche also cooled rumours linking him with a summer switch to Championship play-off chasers Derby County: “I don’t think there’s too much in that – I think someone just needed a story.”