Joey still has his eyes on the title!
Midfielder Joey Barton doesn’t see any reason to alter his ambition of winning the Championship title with the Clarets this season.
On his arrival at Turf Moor in August, having signed a one-year deal with the club, the 33-year-old announced that the club fostered the potential to make a Premier League return as champions.
And that outlook remains unchanged as SeanDyche’s side sit third in the table just two points behind joint leaders Hull City and Brighton after embarking on a seven-game unbeaten run.
“Getting promoted is always difficult to do,” he said. “It’d be my third promotion in three years. I’ve been in the Championship twice before and I’ve been promoted those two years.
“I didn’t come here to finish top 10, I haven’t come here to see my career out, I’ve come here because I’ve still got a lot to offer and because I want to win the league. That’s the goal for me.
“I won it with Newcastle and the plan is to win the league again.”
Barton made 15 appearances under Chris Hughton during the 2009/10 term as Newcastle United dominated the division to cement their return to the top flight.
And the one-time Magpie is eager to replicate that route out of England’s second tier rather than relying on the gamble of the play-offs like he did with QPR as the 2013/14 campaign concluded.
The England cap recognises that the Clarets don’t have the household names that the Toon possessed at St James’ Park - including Fabricio Coloccini, Kevin Nolan, Nicky Butt, Peter Lovenkrands and Andy Carroll - but he acknowledges that the Clarets squad are much more than just names on a team sheet.
“The Newcastle side was full of very talented individuals and we managed to keep that together and we went on to walk away with the league because of the quality that we had in the group,” Barton said.
“QPR was a lot different - we had to fight and we literally went up with the last kick of the Championship season.
“We ended up going up via the back door of the play-offs and Burnley and Leicester were promoted.
“I think we’re somewhere in the middle of the two of them. I think we’re in a better place than the QPR team that I played in but we’re not quite at the level of the Newcastle team I don’t think.
“We’ve got a long way to go so it would be a better question to ask me after the final game of the season in May. It’ll be a more educated opinion.”
Barton added: “We’re not fashionable - we’re Burnley and you read the papers and we get the least coverage - but that’s the way we like it.
“The others can have all the pressure and the coverage but the hardcore of this group have been there and done it before.
“What we’ve got with this group is very difficult to replicate, difficult to buy in. While we haven’t got all the household names that maybe other sides in and around us have, there’s a quiet confidence within the group.
“Nobody trains better than us, nobody is more organised than us, nobody is more together than us.
“We’ve just got to continue to show that. If you look at our form over the last few months, barring Hull who have gone off like a scalded cat, we’re right there.”
For now, though, the former Manchester City midfielder is focussed on making the most of the international break.
“We use the international break quite wisely,” he said.
“The last international break we went away and had a warm weather training camp. In the interim between that we’ve had six games and won four, drawn two.
“That’s a good return - 14 points from a possible 18 between international breaks. If we can kick on and put the same on the board in the next six games then that is champion’s form.”