SCOTT Arfield believes Burnley are building on the momentum picked up from their opening away trips of the season after soaring into the Champions League spots on Tuesday night.

The 1-0 win over Stoke City lifted the Clarets into fourth after 17 games as their remarkable season continued at Turf Moor.

Burnley have won more than half of their league fixtures this season and as the campaign approaches the halfway mark they are keeping exalted company at the top end of the Premier League. Arfield can trace the success back to August and the early momentum they picked up with an opening day win at champions Chelsea and then a dramatic late point against last season’s runners-up Tottenham at Wembley.

But the winger admits not even he expected it to last this long as the Clarets dream of a European adventure next season.

“It’s unbelievable,” Arfield said. “We’d be lying if we said we’d thought we’d in this situation at the start of the season but we knew as soon as we got momentum, and after the first few games and winning at Chelsea and drawing at Tottenham, we thought something good was going to happen.

“It was up to us to keep that momentum going and we’ve managed to do so and hopefully the fans are enjoying it.”

The win over Stoke City, secured thanks to Ashley Barnes’ late strike, took Burnley to 31 points already this season, just nine shy of the total they collected from 38 games last season.

Arfield admits nobody in the camp expected to be racking up these points so early, but he believes the mentality has shifted even from the end of last season, with Sean Dyche’s squad no longer content to settle for just the one point in games.

“Once you get that momentum in this league, when you’ve got top quality players, it gives you an extra incentive to go and get the three points,” the 29-year-old said.

“The mentality has shifted from what we were even last season, we’re not happy drawing games, we want to get the three points.”

Burnley have overcome a difficult fixture list in the first half of the season - having already played six of last season’s top eight away - and several injuries to fly high in the Premier League, and Arfield insists the Clarets’ prominent position is no fluke.

“Not at all,” he said. “We’ve played all the top six almost all away and we’ve done really well and got some big results and we’ve got them all to come back to Turf Moor.

“Over the Christmas period it’s going to be special for everyone and it’s up to us to keep that momentum going.”

Despite breaking into the top four in mid-December Arfield is following his manager’s mantra on focusing on one game at a time.

He insists he won’t be getting carried away and turning his thoughts towards achieving something special this season and he credits Dyche for that mindset.

“I can only talk personally but I genuinely don’t. I think it’s because I’ve been with the manager and the staff for so long,” he said.

“I don’t know if any of the newer boys think like that but having been through two promotions you don’t get promoted from the Championship if you’re thinking too far ahead.

“For us it’s the cliche, it stands us in good stead and it’s been vital for us.”