BURNLEY’S Premier League survival was built on a desire among the squad to create history, according to Clarets defender Michael Keane.
Sean Dyche’s side have become the first Burnley team to stay in the top flight in the Premier League era and the first Clarets side to survive in the highest division since 1974/75.
Keane has been a major part of the Clarets success story this year, despite missing the last two games with a calf injury, and he said the players had spoken of the importance of writing their names into the Turf Moor record books once again as the season drew to a close.
Burnley all but assured safety with a draw against West Brom two weeks ago that took them to 40 points, and Keane said Premier League survival had been a significant achievement.
“We spoke about it in recent months when we were getting close and we wanted to create history,” he said.
“It hadn’t been done before, we created history last year by winning the Championship and we wanted to do it again.
“We’ve been striving for that and you see at the awards, at the home games and the away game at Palace how much it means to the fans and the town.
“Like they said at the awards, football is the biggest thing that goes on in this area.
“It’s such a huge achievement for a small town like Burnley to stay in the Premier League and I think all the lads should be really proud of themselves.”
This Clarets vintage made history at the club a year ago when a 23-game unbeaten league run, the longest in the post-War era, took them to the Championship title.
They have repeated the trick this year but while they’ve accomplished their primary target with something to spare Keane insists there will be no let-up ahead of the final day clash with West Ham United at Turf Moor, with Burnley still able to finish as high as 11th.
“It’s been an aim of ours and to finally get there is a great feeling, it’s mission accomplished for the season,” the 24-year-old said.
“But we want to step on in the last game and finish as high up the league as possible, but the main objective was to stay in the league and we’ve done that, so it’s a fantastic achievement.”
Keane’s record as a Premier League ever present came to an end when he missed the 2-2 draw with the Baggies and he wasn’t fit enough to face Bournemouth at the weekend either.
But he has trained this week after being crowned players’ player of the year at the annual awards do on Sunday night and is hoping he can take part against the Hammers this weekend, although he has full faith in replacement Kevin Long if he doesn’t make it.
“I’ll have to see how it is later in the week, but I’m hopeful,” he said. “I’d love to play in the last game of the season at Turf Moor, but I’m touch and go at the minute so fingers crossed.
“If not Kevin Long has been fantastic in the last few games so he will be great for him.”