BURNLEY have closed the gap between themselves and the top six this season, according to boss Sean Dyche.

The Clarets have played five of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ this term and have acquitted themselves well in those games. They suffered a controversial late defeat to Arsenal at the weekend and were beaten 3-0 by runaway leaders Manchester City, but the Clarets won at champions Chelsea and earned draws at Tottenham and Liverpool.

That early season form has propelled Dyche’s men to seventh and the Turf boss believes his team have shown that the gap to the big clubs has narrowed

“I don’t we think we get too carried away with ourselves but we continue to progress,” Dyche said. “On any given day when two teams come together in the Premier League it can be closer than you think, we saw Huddersfield have a real good go at Man City.

“But I think there’s more to it than just that. Over a period of games we’ve played the top sides and got closer to them, some we’ve got great results against and some we’ve just got close to.

“It’s not a measurement on any one game it’s over how many of these top teams you play and so far this season we’ve delivered really good performances against the top sides, and against everyone really. There’s not been a performance this season that I’ve been disgruntled with.”

Burnley will look to build on those encouraging displays when they visit Bournemouth tonight and Dyche is particularly keen to see his side replicate their first half display against Arsenal, when they controlled the game against Arsene Wenger’s men.

“When you can do that against some of the top teams, even if it is for one half, (it’s good). I thought there were some real strong signs of that,” Dyche added.

“I’ve checked the stats, physically we were very strong, production wise with the ball in making chances we were very strong, keeping the ball we were very strong and set-pieces we were very strong. That’s a good mixture.

“We want to be effective in as many different ways as we can and I thought Sunday was a good example of that.

“When we had to defend we defended well to keep them to minimal chances by their standards. I don’t think Popey (Nick Pope) had much to do so that’s very good defensively and we were very good in attack with their keeper making more saves than ours.

“They’re good signs. I don’t mean to play it down but it’s just the way I work, looking at what you’re doing but knowing there’s more out there.”