BURNLEY'S players have started the new Premier League season in fine form and Matt Lowton believes that is down to the hard work the squad put in during the off-season.

A convincing win over Southampton was followed by a narrow defeat at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and then the Clarets picked up a good point on the road at Wolves.

The right-back highlighted how a footballer's career is a short one, so they have to make the most of it and perform at the highest level that they can.

"It was a big onus on ourselves over the summer to make sure we come back ready to go," said Lowton.

"It's changed a lot over the last few years. Pre-season used to be to get fit but it's not now, it's to build on what you've done in the off-season.

"A lot of lads are getting personal trainers, things like that and trying to give themselves the edge so it's great for the squad that everybody is pushing each other.

"We came back the first day and did testing and the results were fantastic and we've just built on it since.

"We've got a great group of lads that are pushing each other in the right way. There are no people going off on their own and people saying they've been busy, like what it used to be like.

"Everybody is pushing each other because you know full well that the other guy is doing his work and so you need to be doing it yourself. Then the squad comes in together and we pull together and we work hard together."

Players are given fitness plans for when they are away on their summer breaks, the Burnley players decided, as a group, to come back to pre-season fitter than they have ever been in order to improve on the campaign they had last year.

Burnley's pre-season was cut short last year due to their involvement in the qualifying stages of the Europa League, this impacted on the way the Clarets played in the first half of the season - due to problems with fitness and injuries.

"There is that side of it but you've got three of four weeks with the family and then three, four weeks with your profession," added Lowton.

"It's a short profession so you've got to put all you can in at the time.

"Unfortunately, you are a long time retired so while you're in your peak you've got to keep there.

"You definitely feel the benefits coming back. The way the manager is, the way the sports science is here, it's going to be hard work. "There's no two ways about it, there's no disguise on it so you've got to be ready otherwise you'll get found out."

Lowton insists his side didn't want have another start to the season like the one they had last campaign.

"We don’t want another start to the season like last year. It wasn’t good enough," Lowton added.

"We all knew that, and we turned it around after Christmas and that’s the way we wanted to start this year, is the way we finished last year.

“We had a good, hard pre-season, got the miles in the legs and worked hard and I think it has showed the way we started.”