Clarets boss Sean Dyche felt like he’d “had his pocket pinched” after losing 1-0 at home to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Burnley failed to push home their total dominance in the first half, as they succumbed to a second half winner from Raheem Sterling from a rare Reds break.
But Dyche took pride in a first half performance he felt was as good as his side have put in during his time at the helm.
He said: “You can never guarantee what you feel you should deserve from a performance but I think it’s fair to say we had our pocket pinched with how they got away with a win.
“But we’ve had to do that ourselves at Stoke, and sometimes that’s the way it is.”
The confidence his players displayed at times shows how they are adapting to this level, and he added: “It’s a marvel the strides the group has made, in the sense that a year ago we were backed to be relegated from the Championship, and now we’ve playing Liverpool at home, and dominating for good spells of the game, particularly first half when we were excellent.
“We know the challenge, it’s to win - we’ve done it, but we need to do it more.
“I thought we were better than we were against Southampton, when we got a win, and we were very good at Tottenham last week, so the mentality is there, the growth of the group is quite obvious.
“And here against a fine group of players, to see how we played again was very pleasing.
“The change from early season is that the players are playing in an assured manner now, it doesn’t guarantee you anything, but there’s growth in the group and good signs of how we are operating.
“We’ve just got to make even better chances - we have done recently, and we’ve hit the post and conceded a poor goals by our standards after a poor decision from the ref - it’s a foul on Barnesy in the corner.
“They are the fine margins at any level, but particularly this.
“I don’t remember Tom Heaton making many saves, and I remember our back four being on the front foot throughout.”
Burnley couldn’t quite get the result they needed to climb out of the bottom three, but Dyche is encouraged, nevertheless: “I think it’s as well as we’ve played, considering the opposition, since I’ve been at the club. We were, if not totally dominant, very dominant on all levels.
“The shape, tactical play, passing, movement, productivity and keeping the back door shut.
“But the game doesn’t last for one half.”
Sam Vokes made a welcome return as a late substitute after nine months out, but Dyche errs on the side of caution with the Wales international: “The fans and players were delighted to see him back, but it’s only another step in his bigger picture.
“It’s a different feeling out there, the adrenaline running, the crowd.
“He’s not there yet in terms of starting, not a million miles off, but a big part of his journey back.”