Away day specialists

We’ve probably learnt about Burnley’s new found belief on the road already this season and on more than one occasion, but the way they’ve transformed their performances is worthy of further dissection.

The Clarets look full of confidence on the road. They have the look of a side who have been going away from home and picking up wins in the Premier League for years. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Burnley had won five of 57 Premier League away games before this season, but have now won four of their first seven this season.

This was another textbook away display in how to frustrate a home side and their fans, before imposing your own will on the game.

There were some painful trips on the road with Burnley last season but payback has been plentiful already this term.

Taking your chance

A recent feature of Burnley’s success has been the way those handed a chance to impress in the side have grabbed it.

It’s been most obvious in the striking department. Sam Vokes came off the bench to great effect at Southampton, pushing his way to the front of Sean Dyche’s thoughts.

It was Ashley Barnes handed the surprise start against Swansea, justifying it with perhaps his best performance for the club.

On Wednesday it was a return for Chris Wood and he made his case to be Dyche’s number one man by scoring his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

But that desire to impress was also visible in Phil Bardsley’s display. He hadn’t played a minute of league football this season until his start on the south coast but his fine performance will have given Dyche a headache and it fired a warning to the injured Matt Lowton that his place is under pressure.

Get your passports out

‘We’re all going on a European tour’ was the chant emanating from the away end as Burnley bossed proceedings on the south coast.

And why not dare to dream? With a third of the season gone the Clarets are sixth in the Premier League. It’s been an incredible start.

Breaking that monopoly of the top six still looks a step too far, but in this league this season seventh could be achievable, and if the top six are winning the cups that could do for a Europa League spot.

Sean Dyche certainly won’t be entertaining any talk of Europe just yet. Burnley never stray too far from the ‘one game at a time’ mentality that has worked so well for them recently, but the rest of us can get carried away until our hearts are content, and I’m making sure my passport is in date. Just in case.

Dyche leapfrogs Howe

For the last few years Eddie Howe has been the name on everyone’s lips when it comes to the next big thing in British coaching.

But Dyche has certainly pulled alongside the man he replaced in the Turf Moor dugout, if not overtaken him, this season.

While Howe has steadied the ship at the Vitality Stadium after a rocky start, Dyche has pushed Burnley on again and while the Clarets’ spending is on the rise it isn’t at the level of Bournemouth’s, who can afford to hand a 34-year-old Jermain Defoe a three-year contract.

Dyche’s stock is on the rise and for the first time in nearly two months every Premier League club has a permanent manager and speculation over his future has died down. Long may that continue.

Brady finds his feet

It’s not always been plain sailing for Robbie Brady since his £13million move from Norwich City in January.

He started with a bang with that Turf Moor free-kick against Chelsea, but there’s some been inconsistent displays as well.

Dyche made the point that he would benefit from a full pre-season with the Clarets and he’s certainly hit those heights we know he’s capable of on a more regular basis this term.

His last couple of performances have suggested we may now be seeing the best of him. He built on his display against Arsenal with a match-winning role at Bournemouth, setting up Wood’s goal before firing in a right-footed rocket of his own.

An on-song Brady can be a major asset for Burnley and that is what we look to have at the moment.