CAPTAIN marvel Steven Caldwell insists Burnley’s Wembley ecstasy is the “most special moment” of his career – but is already plotting their route to Premier League survival.

Caldwell scored the goal that clinched Sunderland the Championship title and promotion to the Premier League in 2005 but admits yesterday’s play-off joy has beat that as his career highlight.

The straight-talking Scot was instantly back to earth with a bump though as he focused on the job in hand next season – claiming huge improvements are needed if they are to escape becoming one-season wonders.

Caldwell remains confident of his squad’s ability to mix with the very best though, hailing a fantastic team effort for ending Burnley’s 33-year exile from the top flight.

He said: “I always say the latest success is the very best, and this is the latest. I would have to say this is the best moment of my career.

“ I have had the pleasure of going up before, as champions, which is obviously the pinnacle.

“But to come up with a club like Burnley, who obviously have a lesser wage bill and stuff than a lot of other clubs in the Championship. It is a very special achievement. It was a fantastic finale.

“We stayed calm because we know we are an excellent side and if we do things right we are capable of winning. We are as good as anyone in this league and we have proved it.”

Gracious in victory, Caldwell insists defeated Sheffield United deserve huge credit for a campaign that saw them finish two places above his Clarets in third spot.

He also sent a reminder to the jubilant players and staff that Burnley ‘were only the fifth best team in the league’ – claiming further heroics are needed to prolong next season’s top flight stay.

He said: “It is a decent achievement but we have some hard work ahead next season.

“It is important to remember we have not won the Championship. On a day like this that can be forgotten.

“Wolves have been the best team all season, I would like to congratulate them myself. This is a great achievement but let us not forget there have been better teams than us this season.

“We will have to improve if we want to stay in the league. Congratulations to Sheffield, who finished third and were very unlucky on the last day.

“Today’s about the occasion really. We deserved it on the day but you look at how difficult this season has been – next season will be even harder.

“I will sleep because I will enjoy it. We will come back, work extremely hard and become an even better unit than we are.

“We have the capability to do that. We have young players, some excellent players who are going to improve and we will come back and give it our best.”

Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell was left claiming two failed penalty claims cost his side their shot at the big time, but Caldwell insists the best team on the day won the game.

Wade Elliott’s stunning 20-yard first half strike was enough in the end, but Robbie Blake, Steven Thompson and Joey Gudjonsson all spurned golden chances to clinch the game.

Caldwell said: “I am delighted we have won, delighted with the goal and just pleased for that bunch of lads, because I am captain.

“It is going to be a tremendous night. We will try and let it sink in and enjoy ourselves.

“You have to enjoy these times because sooner or later the hard work starts.

“We are all top of the world. It has been a phenomenal day and I think we were the better team overall.

“They created limited chances and we had so many great chances. It was gut wrenching not to score that second goal.

“As a defensive unit, the whole 11, we stayed strong and deserved the win.”