Sean Dyche has been delighted with the progress his side has made since the first Premier League meeting with Southampton three months ago.
The Clarets crashed 3-1 at St Mary’s in mid-October, but have since won five of six home games to enter the New Year firmly embedded in mid-table.
And in narrowing the gap over Saturday’s opponents to just one point, a win against the Saints this weekend would see Burnley leapfrog their opponents and rise up into the top half of the Premier League table.
Dyche said: “When we were down at their place, people would’ve questioned the table now, but it does show that the work that we’ve put in since then to continue to improve.
“The league doesn’t lie and we deserve to be there but we also need to be aware of the bigger picture, which is that we’re going along in a solid manner and we’re in every game.”
The terrific home form of the Clarets has been vital in the club’s fortunes this season, as they seek their eighth home win of the campaign.
Dyche added: “The home form has been excellent and I’m really pleased with that and I’m pleased with the supporters.
“I’ve always said that one of the biggest links that I wanted to achieve was between the supporters and the players and that they stand for something that the supporters can gravitate towards.
“The work ethic, the care, the attention by the players to give everything to win a game and do well for Burnley Football Club has been really obvious and the crowd really enjoy that, so it’s great that we can back that up with good results.”
The manager was also full of praise for Southampton ahead of their journey north.
In the space of just a few years, the Saints have gone from competing in League One to playing European football as an established Premier League side.
But despite being respectful of the opposition, the manager is focused on his game plan to get the right result this weekend.
“Every team in the Premier League is a good side but we know there are some that are more powerful than others, whether it’s from strength of depth or the players that they’ve got and Southampton are a mix of that,” Dyche said.
“They are big club in their own right with the stadium, the structure and the training ground they’ve got down there, as well as the resources that they put on the pitch.
“Our challenge of course is to not overthink about their club and get what we want from the game this weekend.”