BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe is demanding his players raise the bar once more ahead of the visit of Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor tonight.
The Clarets chief is eager to register that first home win after falling agonisingly short in the 1-1 draw against Southampton.
But he believes that victory will be just around the corner if his side can replicate Saturday’s performance.
“Consistency now is what we’re looking for, the players have set the bar now in terms of performance, attitude and intensity to the play so hopefully we can match that for the remaining games this season,” Howe said.
“The season will never be perfectly smooth, but we’d love to see that intensity, getting on the front foot and taking the game to the opposition.
“We’d love to see that at home and a win would be a big boost to everybody.
“I don’t think the wins are far away.
“The fans want to see that hard work and commitment to the club as well.
“As long as they see that, then they’ll back us.”
Forest have suffered the same stuttering start to the campaign as the Clarets, but they’ll arrive at Turf Moor on the back of a 1-0 victory at Vicarage Road against Watford, courtesy of an Ishmael Miller strike.
That triumph against the Hornets was Forest’s second success on the road to date this season, but they still languish in the lower echelons of the Championship table.
“It’s very early days to say under-achieving,” Howe said.
“I think Nottingham Forest will pick up and compete and hopefully we’re going to do the same.
“It’s two teams that perhaps haven’t had the start they want.
“Forest are on the back of a good win, we’re on the back of a good performance so it’s going to be an interesting game.”
He added: “They’ve got experience within their squad, they were there or thereabouts last year, and they have been for the last two or three seasons.
“They are slightly different to us, because they’ve got the majority of the squad that was there last year with a few new fresh faces. It will be a tough test for our credentials, but one I’m sure we can rise to.
“They’ve got good front players but we don’t fear anybody – I think we showed that against Southampton.
“We’ll look to impose our game on the opposition again on Tuesday.
“We’re hoping that our players can match the performance but we can get the result that we deserve.”
The last time Howe went head-to-head with a former England boss the Clarets fell to a 4-0 thrashing against Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Leicester City, but Howe is relishing the prospect of battling it out with another former international coach.
“It’s great, another experienced and successful manager who has done well throughout his career.
“It’s great to be up against people like this, but it’s not really about the managers, it’s about the players.
“The jobs that he has done have been fantastic achievements.
“I’m sure he’ll do very well at Nottingham Forest.
“He’s a proven, experienced manager, who has coached his country, and you can’t get a higher accolade than that.
“I’m full of admiration for the jobs that he has done.”
Republic of Ireland international Keith Treacy is a doubt for Tuesday’s clash.
The winger missed Saturday’s stalemate with Southampton after feeling his hamstring tighten in training on Friday.
New boy Junior Stanislas, who made his first start for the Clarets at the weekend, is also a doubt after being substituted with cramp against the league leaders.
Howe said: “We’re a little bit thin on the ground.
“We do have injury doubts over Keith, Junior and, of course, we’ve got the other injuries that still remain.
“The squad is very stretched at the moment at this early stage, and we’ll see if we can bring anybody in.
“The two lads are both struggling.”
But Howe is excited by the prospects that lie within his small squad and the Burnley boss is adamant that they’ll serve the club well.
“What excites me is the age of the majority of the players,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot more scope for everybody to get better.
“We are seeing the signs of what this team is capable of, and there’s a lot more to come.
“They are developing that understanding of how one another play, the key attributes that individuals have, and the more they play together the better they’ll get.
“Hopefully in future years this squad will serve the club very well.”
And Howe insists that he’s keeping tabs on the loan market every day in a bid to bolster his depleted squad.
He said|: There’s been no progress, we might have to look at that again now and re-visit it.
“We’re monitoring the transfer market every single day I can assure everybody that.
“It’s just a nightmare time to bring players in and find the right ones that are available.
“A lot of the top clubs are keeping their players with Europa League and Carling Cup, keeping their squads in tact so we’ve found it incredibly frustrating.
“But now with Keith’s injury, we’ll just have to wait to see how serious it is and see what our options are.”
Meanwhile, the Clarets were pitched against fellow Championship side Cardiff City in the Fifth Round of the Carling Cup. The fixture at the Cardiff City Stadium will take place on the week commencing October 24th.
“I’m slightly disappointed, to say the least,” said Howe.
“It’s not the game we wanted and we’re away from home which is the most disappointing thing because it leaves us with three away games in a row. But it’s a game we’re capable of winning.”