Burnley manager Sean Dyche said “football is about dreams” after his side moved into fourth place in the Premier League with victory over Stoke at Turf Moor.
Substitute Ashley Barnes struck two minutes from time to move the Clarets to their highest position in the top flight for 42 years, when they were second in the old First Division in March 1975.
Burnley are now on 31 points in the Premier League table, behind only Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and above Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, for 24 hour at least as the second day of Matchweek 17 goes under way.
“It’s a run of results and a start which the fans are enjoying and rightly so,” said Dyche.
“Football is about realities but also about dreams. It’s a tough task for us winning games at this level but Leicester blew the roof off dreams in football [by becoming champions in 2016] — there’s no bold statement from me on that. We’re having a real go at what we can achieve this season.”
Barnes’ strike — after the ball ricocheted off team-mate Scott Arfield — was one of few clear-cut chances in the match, though Stoke’s Peter Crouch hit the post early on.
As Burnley climbs into on of the the Champions League spots above Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham — who all play on Wednesday — Sean Dyche choose to keep his feet firmly on the ground
“We found a way to win and a fine goal,” said Dyche. “We’re not the real deal, we’re a side that are improving. I keep reality because this division will eat you alive. We’re having a real go at what we can achieve this season.”
As for Stoke, who remain in 15th place with their defeat, their form piles more pressure on manager Mark Hughes, who was booed by his owns fans near the end after taking off Xherdan Shaqiri for Eric Choupo-Mouting.
“There’s a little bit of dissent, we understand it,” Hughes said in acknowledgment of the unrest. “It’s been there a number of months, you only keep it down if you win football matches. That’s the only way to keep the noise down. The message to the players is: ‘Give me that every time we play and we’ll be fine.’”
“We have to stick our chests out and get some points. I’m looking forward to the weekend already because I think you’ll see more of the same.”