BURNLEY go into tomorrow’s home game with third bottom Southampton 10 points ahead of their opponents and still ‘best of the rest’ in the Premier League.

Not even a run of 10 games without a win has been enough to knock them off their perch just outside the top six.

But manager Sean Dyche knows it may not continue and is still fixed on bettering last year’s finish of 16th and 40 points.

The Clarets boss feels the points are just as precious to his side as they are to Southampton, despite the gulf in league position because as well as wanting to arrest their dip in form, Burnley are still chasing their own target.

“The goal is to be better than last year so there’s not really a thought either way on this idea of being in the division or not in the division. There’s not much thought on that at all,” said Dyche.

“I don’t think we think anything other than the goal hasn’t changed.

“It’s about the game readiness to take on each challenge as it comes. We’ve done that well. Even in this tough period we’ve still done that well.

“I thought we were below par at Swansea, below par in the first half at Palace but were strong in the second half. I haven’t been too disappointed with the performances.

“We’re definitely not the real deal, we’re a squad that are learning and improving, and with that you sometimes get these challenges that come your way of a tough run, bad run – whichever words you choose.

“In regard of the team the literal challenge is the next game, but in the bigger picture it is to be better than last season.

“I think we have been by our performances, now it’s about turning our performances and continuing to turn our performances into points on the board.”

After a weekend off Burnley return to Premier League action with a clash against the Saints looking for a first win since December 12.

Dyche added: “Southampton have got their own challenges in front of them, we’ve got ours, we’ve got to make sure we give a performance that can win.

“They’re another team who I think not many thought they would be where they are and that’s how tough the division can be.

“It’s their job to try to get points on the board the same as it is ours.

“We just focus on ourselves. We’ve shown over time we can be better than last season. That’s the first marker.

“I believe we have been with the squad and the performances of the squad, but you’ve got to do it literally on a table, and that’s what you’re judged by at the end of the season.

“There’s still work to be done, still improvement to come.

“We want to get back to winning ways.”