“BURNLEY are hanging in there” were the words former footballer turned radio presenter Alan Brazil used to describe the Clarets’ Championship position this week.
If ‘hanging in there’ means averaging two points a game and spending almost half the season in the top two then yes, I suppose they are.
In fairness to Brazil, it is the wider perception.
But in truth it is a lazy view. One shared by the ill-advised or the uneducated. It is certainly one not based on any recent evidence of Sean Dyche’s side.
It is an opinion, however, that can galvanise.
Few outside of the camp – perhaps even some in it – would have expected Burnley to be in the position they are at this, or perhaps any, stage of the season, and for a prolonged period of time.
But the fact the Clarets have got there, and more or less stayed there, having topped the Championship for the best part of two months, suggests (or at least it should) that there is more to this team than a slice of luck.
The players and management know that. The fans know it too. Whether others come on board is up to them, but the more doubters there are the more the determination to prove them wrong.
A team that is as together as Burnley is not to be underestimated, as QPR boss Harry Redknapp was quick to point out when Brazil suggested otherwise.
The handful of Clarets fans who were at Victory Park to cheer on Chorley in their FA Trophy replay with Conference club Tamworth saw similar traits in the Magpies too.
They were not blessed with the many combined years of Football League experience at the Lambs' disposal, but they had an inner belief that they could again conquer higher league opposition, after defying the odds to beat Forest Green Rovers in the previous round. It made for a fascinating cup tie.
It has been a fascinating season for Burnley so far, and with a winning start to 2014 you sense there is more to come.
For the Clarets it’s an ‘us against the world’, British Bulldog spirit, driven by the determination to do it for themselves and to say ‘I told you so’ to the ones who didn’t back them, with the aim of bringing reward for those who did.