IN 10 years at Turf Moor Michael Duff has pretty much seen it all.
There have been good times and bad times, and some indifferent times.
But Duff has seen enough in the five months since the start of the season to believe that the former is well and truly back at Turf Moor.
And despite the outside football world waiting for the Clarets’ bubble to burst, the experienced defender has other ideas.
“We’ve shown we’re not a flash in the pan,” said the 36-year-old.
But Duff knows the Clarets have to not just keep on top of their game, but up it if they are to stay in and around the automatic promotion places because of the reputation they have earned this season.
“Teams are ready for us now, and teams have upped their performances against us,” said the defender ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Sheffield Wednesday.
“We’ve played 25 games, two points a game isn’t a bad return.
“We know what we have to do.
“You have to look after your own house, it doesn’t matter what the other teams do.
“It’s a cliche, but we do take one game at a time, just isolate games.
“We have an idea what we need to do, but we’ll look to keep doing what we’re doing and see where we end up. If we continue to get two points a game, I’d like to think we’d be there or thereabouts, but it’s all right talking about it.”
But manager Sean Dyche feels his players are responding well enough to that challenge.
“We enjoy that feeling, we want that feeling because usually it means you’re doing well,” said the Clarets boss.
“You turn into a different concern. By the Christmas period people are really taking us seriously and they’re looking at you as being right up there – first or second in the table. It’s human nature that the crowd lift the opposition, particularly away from home, and players respond to that.
“I’ve said all along it’s very difficult to constantly win games.
“Derby won eight out of eight and then lost three on the trot, albeit one in the cup.
“The challenge is right there in front of all of us, and I think we’ve done very well with it, and to be consistent, be very hard to beat but also win lots of games.
“We’re looking to keep building on that.”
He does not concern himself with outside opinion.
“Our main focus is what do we think of ourselves?” he said.
“You’ve got the challenge of the opposition.
“But we have to deal with our own expectation in a way that we think is appropriate so that whenever the next game comes around we’re ready to challenge ourselves to go hard again and win that game.
“I know what we’re about and what we’re trying to challenge ourselves to do as individuals, as a team and as a group.”