BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche says a group mentality will galvanise his squad for the promotion run-in.
The Clarets have sustained a place in the Championship’s top three since September, yet have used the least number of players in the division – 22 in total, with only 18 starting in the league.
But while the squad is small, Dyche believes their togetherness will play a massive part in their ability to continue to compete at the top end of the table.
“The output of the players phsyically last week was outstanding, the manner in which they performed was very good.
“The squad are in good shape mentally, they’re in great shape physically and they’re ready and raring to go,” said Dyche, who feels his players have taken on board the spirit of Spain’s 2010 World Cup winning squad.
“I remember Cesc Fabregas said one agreement they had was there would be no-one who saps the energy out of the group. There would be no-one undermining the group, and if there was they’d stamp on it as a group.
“I told the players about this because I feel it’s important.
“They didn’t moan about where they were staying, food, pitches, nothing – they just got on and got it done.
“That in a different way is stripping an ego – not from individuals but from what can get in the way.
“There’s a lot of noise and inference, perception and mis-perception, and you cut through that to get to the facts of what’s going on.
“As long as they’re in line with that I think it’s a powerful weapon.”
A statement of intent was made against Nottingham Forest last weekend as the Clarets roared into a 3-0 half-time lead against promotion rivals, ultimately winning the game 3-1 to maintain a two-point gap over today’s third-placed opponents Derby County.
“It’s been a good week,” Dyche added.
“Confidence is high, the feelgood factor is there and also the energy of the players is fantastic - absolutely first class.
“The stats were through the roof again last week. We’re getting fitter, getting stronger and continuing to go hard to deliver very good performances.
“We’re looking to continue that progression. We don’t want them to relax on it, we want them to keep nipping away and keep adding the details to keep them performing well.”
And Dyche revealed supporters had gone out of their way to contact him and commend him on last weekend’s Clarets performance.
“I’ve had so many people come up to me this week - people who have watched this club for 40-50 years - and I’ve had letters into the club saying that’s up amongst the best half of football they’ve seen,” he said.
“That’s very pleasing to us and I think the lads deserve tremendous credit.
“The way they go about their business, in my opinion there are very few teams around the world who can just flick a switch and turn on performances.
“We perform properly all the time, in training, whatever we’re doing, the demand is high, and I just think when the whistle blows you naturally go into what you need to do.
“Good actors rehearse in the right manner, I don’t think they cheat the system and turn up and expect to be brilliant.
“So whatever you’re rehearsing and whatever you’re looking to improve at I think you do it right all the time and take that into Saturday’s performance.
“In the first half they just went into how they train, all the good habits, all the energy and also the quality and I thought it was an outstanding half of football.”