As the saying goes “Everyone loves an underdog.”
And Clarets boss Sean Dyche is hoping to tap into the good feeling that status engenders.
Burnley are far from the typical unpolished, rag-tag underdog.
Their organisation and framework sets them aside, as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho admitted: “I think they’re a very well-worked side, so the coach has to be good.”
But where they are fighting against the odds is plain to see when Chelsea can field a player in Diego Costa, who will cost the Blues more than Burnley’s entire turnover this season.
Last time out against Manchester United, the Reds gave a debut to Angel Di Maria, whose £57.9m fee is believed to be more than the Clarets have spent on players in their 132-year history!
Today, Dyche takes his Burnley side to Crystal Palace, who were last year’s Premier League underdogs, managing to not only survive, but finish 11th, nine points clear of the drop zone.
And he feels the Clarets can draw from a similar air of goodwill that the Eagles had last year: “The one thing we’ve got, which is a really positive thing, is freedom, because the expectation on us from the outside looking in - everyone writes you off in every game and every minute that you play.
“That gives you great freedom.
“I believe there’s a country out there of football people who all wish us well.
“For all the money and the grandeur in the game now, which has brought some fantastic things, there’s still that underdog spirit among people who think ‘go on then, let’s see how they go’.
“I told the lads I think there will be a lot of good feeling out there, like there was last year.
“There are fans out there who support their smaller local clubs who dream of that club growing, and we’ve had that come to reality.”
Burnley are showing signs of adapting to the Premier League, and go to Selhurst Park looking to continue on that learning curve.
They performed well in patches against Chelsea, before ultimately being over-powered by a side who look like they will take some stopping.
They then dominated the second half in the narrow defeat at Swansea, before holding Manchester United at Turf Moor last time out.
Dyche knows full well football is ultimately all about results, especially at this level, but he feels they will come if his players maintain their performance levels so far: “We’ve got one point on the board but I think performances have shown really good signs.
“If you scratch a lucky 1-0 and you win, there’s no real future in that. There is a future in performances, you can see the way the team operates, never more so than against United - a massive occasion against high class opposition.
“I know there’s a lot made of Manchester United, but we’ve all seen those names on the teamsheet, there are some top class players there and I thought we delivered a very good performance.
“There were really good signs at Swansea as well.
“I know we didn’t win. We’re not naive, I know what the business is about, but we’ve got to show growth in the team and how it’s moving forward. There has to be that.”
He added: “It’s not at the detriment of results, we understand that, but it has to be there for all to see and it was.
“The second half particularly at Swansea was fantastic in the way they went about it.
“Then you go into Manchester United and there’s an alignment of how the team’s moving forward and you could see it again. The freedom I talk about playing with was there to be seen against some of the top players in the Premier League.
“It bodes well. We know we have to win games of course, but there has to be signs of how we’re growing as a group and I think that’s been clear this season so far.”