Burnley boss Sean Dyche hailed an “important three points” following his side’s emphatic win at Wolves but refused to accept the 4-0 victory at Molineux ensured Premier League survival.
Chris Wood’s first Premier League hat-trick and an Ashley Westwood goal gave the Clarets their biggest win in the top flight since 1965.
Dyche’s team headed to the West Midlands in no immediate threat of relegation, despite three successive defeats, mostly due to Fulham’s inability to put any pressure on the teams above them.
They left with a nine-point cushion between themselves and the bottom three and it should be enough to ensure another season of Premier League football.
However, Dyche did not want to tempt fate, saying: “It feels like an important three points, but they all do, and there are still more games to play and more points to gather.
“I always believe in the next one. The season is never over until it is over. It was a very strong performance but today doesn’t owe you the next one.
“We will make sure we enjoy this one, for sure, but we will remain right at it and mentally focussed.
“I did mention in the build up to this game that I felt performances have been good, and you don’t always get what you deserve in football.
“I think the consistency of the performances have been good, despite the three losses, and I was expecting us to start winning again – although maybe not 4-0.
“I believe we’ve earned the right to pull away with the consistency of our performances, not just recently but over the course of the season.”
Wood’s treble took him to 10 goals in the competition for the season.
Dyche said: “There are still things that he can improve, with his hold up play and keeping hold of the ball. But there are certain things in football that you can’t coach and he finds a way of finding a chance.
“The reason I signed him is because he finds a way of being in the right place at the right time, and I actually think we have a clutch of strikers capable of that.
“The hardest role on the pitch is centre forward, and I know how difficult it is because I used to play at centre half and I made damn sure it was difficult, but Woody finds a way of scoring goals.”
All of Wood’s goals came before half time during an opening 45 minutes where it was abundantly clear one team was driven by the hunger and
desire of something to play for, and the other was not.
Wolves, who have known for much of the season that their fate would probably be mid-table obscurity, improved marginally in the second half in the sense that they only conceded one more goal when Westwood struck five minutes from time.
Wanderers’ performance was littered with errors and lethargy but boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to put the below-par display down to a bad attitude from his players.
“It was not about that,” said the Portuguese. “Despite our own mistakes, we have to credit Burnley. Sometimes the opponent does not allow you to do things. I will not judge the attitude of my players by relaxation, it was more the inability to play good.
“It was about not making the right decision, it was nothing to do with the wrong attitude. As mistakes increased, we were not able to settle down and play the game as we play.
“We made many mistakes that we shouldn’t do. I am disappointed with many things generally – defensively but also offensively. How we defend set pieces was particularly poor.
“Today was clearly the path that we should not take and I will not allow it. We will analyse this game and prepare much better for the next one and play it much better and do the things that we want to do.”