Burnley’s Sean Dyche has called on his side to not lose sight of their early ambitions of improving on last season’s 16th-placed finish ahead of the visit of Southampton on Saturday.
The Clarets are without a win in 10 matches but the 46-year-old has no concerns around the morale of his squad heading into the final third of the campaign.
The Turf Moor club are hopeful that striker Chris Wood and defender James Tarkowski may return in time for the visit of Saints, two of a handful of key names that have been absent throughout a difficult run in the league.
“When the group is at its strongest point and everyone is vying for a shirt, that brings that edge,” he said.
“That group dynamic and in-house competition is very important, to get that kind of edge to a performance when you need it.
“In the bigger picture, our goal hasn’t changed; it is to be better than last season. There’s only been a couple of games in this run where I’ve been disappointed with our performances.”
With both sides struggling for Premier League form, the direction of the three points at Turf Moor will have a big impact at both ends of the table.
“Both teams have got their own challenges in front of them and we want to make sure we can deliver a winning performance.
“Not many would have thought that Southampton would have been in their current position at the start of the season so their immediate focus is the same as ours: to restore some form and win as many points as possible.”