Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is under no illusions over the challenge his side face to remain in the Premier League - but insists 2023 will go down as a “fantastic year” for the club.

The Clarets are second bottom at the halfway stage of the season and head to high-flying Aston Villa on Saturday with 11 points from 19 games.

But as a new year heads into view, Kompany took a moment to reflect on the achievements that brought Burnley back to the big stage.

Back in May, they stormed to the Sky Bet Championship title with 101 points, energising the town in the process.

“Sometimes I forget to reflect on this - it has actually been a fantastic year,” he said.

“Our 2023 was filled with all the types of memories and experiences you want to have in your life - lifting trophies, winning football matches and also sharing moments with the fans.

"Not so long ago there were 60,000 fans in Burnley on a parade. Where we found 60,000 people I don’t know, but they were there and that has been part of our year.

“Still you are always aiming for more in 2024 and to keep setting the bar higher is always the goal.”

Returning to the challenges they have experienced since promotion, he added: “It is fair to say it has been tough and I would have liked to see the team have more points.

“It feels like it is not enough but we are all very confident in terms of wanting to press ahead in the next 19 games. Ideally we have to be better than three teams and that is not the case at this moment in time, but we are going to do everything we can.

“There are no taboos for us. If you come in from the Championship to the Premier League, naturally you have one of the bottom three budgets. Realistically you have to have a scenario like this (in mind) even if your goal – and my job – is to beat those odds. We planned for that and we never shy away from it, but we also plan for staying up.”

Striker Lyle Foster will play a full part in the survival fight after he was left out of South Africa’s Africa Cup of Nations squad. Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos had been keen to select the 23-year-old but the board were persuaded not to name the Foster, who missed several weeks of the season on a mental health break.

“It is a sensible decision from the South African FA, in terms of supporting the advice of experts,” said Kompany.

“We didn’t have Lyle available for a month or more because we tried to put him first and part of his rehabilitation is being in a small environment. It is the travelling and everything else, the people who advised us throughout this period didn’t think it was time yet for Lyle.

“Collectively, we are doing something that is good for a South African human being, before we call him a player. We are taking care of him and looking after him. He will be ready to perform for his country again at some point.”