“We have to go out and earn it" - Burnley boss Sean Dyche on his side's current plight
Burnley may well be battle-hardened when it comes to relegation dog-fights.
But Clarets boss Sean Dyche knows it counts for little in his side’s current plight.
Burnley finished 17th, but stayed up by 11 points with three games to spare last season.
And in 2018-19, having been 18th with 12 points at the halfway stage, they finished 15th, six points clear of the drop.
In their first season back in the Premier League, in 2016-17, they were 16th, again six points clear of danger.
That experience can be helpful, but Dyche knows his players can’t rely on what has happened before.
Ahead of two key home games, against Leicester City on Saturday and Watford on Tuesday night, Dyche said: “I think the experience and knowledge of it is a good thing – but you don’t want to be naive to think it’ll be alright then.
“I’ve assured the players of that, said ‘no, no, ‘alrightness’ gets nothing’.
“You need to be way better than alright to be sure you’re looking after yourselves.
“We’re looking at that scenario, and because we have experience and know the challenge, it doesn’t mean it owes us anything.
“We have to go out and earn it. There’s definitely a clear-mindedness.
“What I would say, is the experience, understanding, knowledge and know-how, you consider that to have rubbed off on the players, to help.”
In terms of making it happen themselves, Dyche knows his side have not been as hard to beat as usual, certainly of late.
And he is looking for his players to be more like their old selves: “We’ve spoken to the players about raising the minimum.
“All teams will have a period over a season where they’re not quite firing, things are not happening.
“I think one of our strengths over the years has been when we haven’t been at our best, going forward, but we get a clean sheet and a point.
“When you are at a high level of performance, that sort of looks after itself.
“So we’ve been asking whether we can keep pushing the minimum, because we know when our players are really on song, there is factual evidence we can be very competitive in the division.
“It’s about those soft days, when it’s not happening for you, or we have injuries or possibly Covid.
“How can we operate then to still be effective?
“We’ve worked well in that respect for many seasons.”