MATT Lowton insists Burnley are starting to think bigger as they close in on Premier League safety.

The Clarets are eight points clear of the bottom three with just five games to go and will aim to take another step towards survival when they bid for an 11th league win of the season at Turf Moor on Sunday with Manchester United in town.

Former Aston Villa man Lowton said the aim at the beginning of the season was simply securing safety, but admits ambitions have changed as the season has progressed for Burnley, who are still just four points behind Watford in 10th.

"At the start of the season nobody could fault us for saying we want to stay in the division," Lowton said. "But now with where we are there’s no reason why we can’t finish mid-table.

"We’ve got a lot of lads getting international caps now so it shows the club is growing and hopefully we can keep moving forward."

Confidence is high around Turf Moor, especially when Burnley are playing in front of their own fans, and Lowton believes the fact they have consistently kept their head above water this season has helped the Clarets.

The 27-year-old experienced relegation battles with Aston Villa while he was in the Midlands and admitted it is much tougher when teams are in the bottom three scrapping for their lives than when they have a gap to the relegation zone.

"It’s nice to have the cushion of a few points rather than trying to catch other teams up," he said.

"It’s more difficult for the teams that are in the bottom three. We’re trying to get over the line but you need to think how they’re feeling, they’re scrapping for their lives.

"It’s important we stay together and we get the points and get over the line."

While Burnley have been brilliant at home this season they have struggled on their travels and remain winless.

"We’d like to stop people talking about it and get the win. But if we stay in the division we don’t really care where the points come from," Lowton said.

"Going into away games everyone is pumped as they are at home and everyone knows their jobs. The desire is there to win the game but it’s not happening for us at the minute."