JOHANN BERG GUDMUNDSSON reckons Burnley have proved they are Premier League ready.
The Championship leaders sit 12 points in front of Sheffield United and an impressive NINETEEN ahead of third-placed Middlesbrough before a trip to Blackpool today.
Clarets and Iceland winger Gudmundsson, 32, said: “This team is improving every day.
“But we know if we want to get into the Premier League and stay there we’ve got to keep improving as there’s a big gap in quality between there and the Championship.
“But I wouldn’t give it a second thought — we’re going to do well in the Premier League.”
Burnley’s transformation under boss Vincent Kompany, who was appointed last summer, has been extraordinary.
The Belgian has introduced a completely different style of play to ex-gaffer Sean Dyche.
Gudmundsson said: “It’s a lot more detailed as Vinnie goes into the opposition a lot and how we can exploit different weaknesses and how he wants us to play. We now try to play from the back and make angles for everybody and get everyone having the ball.
“We’ve done really well and, of course, we’re playing in a different league, so that is a factor as well.
“The Championship is not as hard as the Premier League, which everybody knows. It’s a big step to that.
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“We want to return to the Premier League and showcase our talents.”
The Clarets are bossing possession and have scored 68 league goals already this season.
They have also maintained the hard work-rate and organisation that made them successful under Dyche.
Gudmundsson said: “When Vinnie came in, he told us that everything we do is about scoring goals.
“We want to score as many goals as possible from every phase possible and we’ve shown that throughout this season. There have been so many different goalscorers. We look dangerous in every phase and, for the opponent, that is hard to play against.
“We were able to adapt to the new styles because so much work and so many meetings took place.
“There was a lot of time spent on the training pitch where the manager was getting across his ideas.
“He’s shown a lot of videos of us, telling us what we can do better.
“It’s been an incredible amount of work but it worked fantastically.”
Experienced Gudmundsson believes his game has improved, too.
He added: “It was a long time under Dyche so it was good to try something new and Vinnie’s ideas have suited how I wanted to play.
“For me, it’s a bit more on the ball and not as much running off the ball, which suits players like me.
“Tactically, I think I’ve improved with the different aspects that the manager brings into the games. You can see he changes formation quite a lot in midfield and up front.
“It’s being more tactically aware on how he wants us to play.
“I just enjoy being on the pitch as much as I can.
“I’m not getting any younger but as long as I can enjoy my football and stay on the pitch, that is good.”
Kompany is just as demanding as Dyche when it comes to work-rate and mental toughness.
Gudmundsson added: “Even though we keep the ball a lot, we work hard to get it back as quickly as possible.
“The intensity and the running stats are high. We’ve kept it as high as we used to as it’s the identity of the club — but we play a lot more football now.
“The aggression, the pressing, everything is there — and we need to keep hold of that.
“That will take us far when you have that base of hard work and football comes after that.”
Blackpool boss Mick McCarthy reckons this is the worst possible fixture for his second-bottom strugglers, but added: “Out of adversity comes strength.”