Clarets boss Sean Dyche felt his side should have been out of sight by half time as they made a huge stride towards Premier League survival with a 2-0 win over Cardiff City.

A goal in each half from Chris Wood – taking the New Zealand captain’s top flight tally into double figures for the second successive season – was enough to move Burnley 11 points clear of the bottom three.

But the winning margin could have been much bigger with Wood and midfielder Ashley Westwood both spurning first half chances with the Clarets well on top.

The home side then survived a bizarre second half penalty incident – in which Mike Dean initially pointed to the spot for a handball against Ben Mee before overturning his decision – and a spirited Cardiff rally before securing all three points in stoppage time.

And Dyche said: “I think in the first half we were really good, the game should have been done. We had a brilliant chance from Woody when he hits the post, a good goal from Woody and Westy has two one v ones which are hard at this level to find but it is not out of sight.

“And then in the second half, credit to Cardiff they through caution to the wind and almost went 2-4-4 and got the ball forward earlier. The ball was coming in from everywhere and I thought the resilience of the team was important because they had the upper hand without a doubt.

“Then we just started to slow it down and turn the tide slightly in our favour and then saw the game out as we have done many, many times.

“I am really pleased with the mentality of the players because they are doing all the hard stuff to make sure we got a result in a really, really hard game.“

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock must have thought his side’s luck had changed just after the restart when they were awarded a penalty, only for it then to be overturned after a couple of minutes of confusion.

Dyche felt the final decision was the correct one but admitted he was initially unhappy with the award.

He said: “I wasn't pleased but I will explain why. The linesman has given it from 70 yards away. It is impossible, you can't give a penalty at any level from 70 yards unless he has a clear view which I can't see how he could have one because of Ben Mee's body shape.

“The referee hasn't given it and I think the referee has officiated that very well. I don't know what he thought because I haven't spoken to him. He must have been thinking 'I don't think he can give it from there.'

“I have looked back at it and it hits Ben Mee in the face and it is impossible to be deliberate. For me, no chance is it a penalty and the right outcome was got to in the end.

“We have had enough go against us, I know Cardiff have as well, but I don't think it is even a balanced one because it is not a penalty.”

The win moved the Clarets to within touching distance – mathematically – of Premier League survival.

But Dyche insists his side won’t ease up just yet with four games of the top flight campaign still to play.

He said: “People will talk about being safe but we want to make sure factually. It is a big gap and an important gap, it was a massive game and we know we have a tough run in, everyone has been telling me that for months.

“The bigger picture is that we have 27 points from 15 games, you can't luck that from 12 points from 19 games.

“The lads have been terrific. We are going to have to carry on of course but the history of the Premier League suggests we are in a very strong position but we have to make sure factually.”