Sean Dyche believes Burnley’s much-maligned away record has played an important part in their recent progress in the Premier League.
The Clarets remain the only top-flight team not to have won away from home this season.
But Dyche’s men have drawn three of their last five away fixtures, taking valuable points from strugglers Hull City, Sunderland and Middlesbrough to move eight points clear of the drop-zone and into 12th-place in the table as Easter approaches.
“I have never swept under the carpet the fact we haven’t won away and I don’t choose to do that,” said the Burnley boss.
“But there have been some building blocks put in place. I’ve been talking about it all season and I think we have been unlucky in two of those three games not to have won them.
“But managers who are a lot deeper than me in their careers in the Premier League, they often say ‘a clean sheet and a point away from home, you’d take it all day’.
“Not so much the managers, who are managing the top clubs and pushing for the title. But, generally speaking, that’s a good marker and we’ve got those points on the board recently and they have been important.”
As well as adding points to their tally away from Turf Moor, the Clarets have also clocked up three clean sheets in their last four matches as they inch towards guaranteed Premier League football again next season.
And with half-a-dozen games to go – continuing with Saturday’s trip to seventh-placed Everton – Dyche insists that remains the priority as he continues to build and develop a club both on and off the pitch.
“You want to be looking forward, although we’re not naïve,” he added.
“We’re well aware of the complexities of the division and we’re well aware our major goal from the outside looking in and from the inside looking out is still to be in the Premier League on an on-going basis.
“We have never pushed that away. But I’ve also said that’s always the first port of call for a team that’s promoted.
“So we look at that and then we look at where we’re at and what we’re doing and what we want to achieve.
“We don’t look at this on a daily basis, we don’t even look at it on a weekly basis.
“Every now and again we’ll catch up with the team and have a meeting as a group and say ‘right, that’s where we were, this is where we are, what are our expectations etc, etc’.
“It’s right in general terms we are looking forward and want to look up, but also you’ve got to be reality bound and know you’ve still got to keep an eye over your shoulder because you’ve got to be right for that as well.
“We wanted to be competitive, as a minimum. We’ve done that.
“Now we’re in a good base position to go into this final group of games, good mentally, good physically and with a good points’ tally for the reality of what we are in this division.”