WINGER Ross Wallace believes Burnley can look to a strong second half of the season after proving a match for their biggest rivals.

The Clarets bucked the trend by earning a first point against Blackburn Rovers, in their seventh league meeting in almost 34 years.

Sunday’s 1-1 draw meant Burnley have now taken points off all three relegated teams at the first attempt this season – all of which were fancied for an immediate return to the top flight.

And Wallace feels they must use that platform of knowing they can compete with the strongest sides in the division to establish the consistency needed to mount their own promotion push.

“We weren’t surprised with our performance,” said the former Celtic, Sunderland and Preston wide man.

“We have been playing well, it’s just a case of doing it for the 90 minutes.

“We haven’t had a game where we’ve dominated the whole time, it’s just been spells, but you’re going to get that.

“I think the main thing for us now is to go through games when we’re on top, score goals, and then defend well, which we have been doing recently.

“Hopefully we can keep that up for the rest of the season.

“If we keep playing the way we are we can get on a good run of wins and get right up there.”

Sean Dyche’s men will look to build on their three-game unbeaten run at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The Clarets ran out 2-0 winners on their last visit in January, with former striker Jay Rodriguez scoring both goals.

And Wallace knows a similar result this weekend would stand them in good stead for the crucial festive fixtures.

“If we can go three, four or five games doing really well and getting a few wins we’ll be right in the mix,” said the Scot.

“We’re really confident. We’ve got a good team, the basis of a good squad. We’ve got a small squad, but we’ve got a good squad.”

Meanwhile, Wallace says his first taste of an East Lancashire derby lived up to expectations, both on and off the pitch.

“It was a good game – a better derby than against Blackpool and Bolton," he said.

“It was a bit more tense and a good atmosphere, I really enjoyed it.

“It surprised me how tense it was but I love those kind of games because it gives you an extra edge in the game.

“I’d play those games every week if I could. It’s not the same as Celtic v Rangers, but not far away to be fair.

“I think everybody enjoyed playing in the game. It was a good game as well. The first half we pretty much dominated possession and they had a spell when they scored when they started to get on top for about 15 or 20 minutes.

“But we finished the game strongly and I think overall we deserved something out of it.”