BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche is setting his sights higher than Premier League survival.
In the same way that he refused to put a limit on expectations as his side mounted a promotion push last season, the Clarets chief is not outlining a minimum target for the top flight next term.
A 17th placed finish would be widely regarded as a bigger achievement than going up.
But Dyche said: “I don’t think either way - you can limit either way.
“There might have been people who said last year that their marker is the play-offs, but we certainly weren’t because you can limit people with that.
“I said that at the beginning of last season.
“Every manager will have their feel of ‘soft psychology’ as I call it.
“We’re not trained psychologists, but you have a feel for the psychology of an individual and a team.
“And I just always thought when we start talking in cycles and markers and achieving this, that or the other, it can be good in a way that it gives you focus and a goal, but it can also be constraining.
“Sometimes people hit the marker and then they’re confused, thinking they’ve done what they’ve meant to do, only to be told ‘no you haven’t, there’s more to come’.
“So we just leave it open.”
Dyche adopted a ‘one game at a time’ mantra from the start of last season and feels those short-term goals were key in securing automatic promotion.
And he revealed it is a philosophy that he intends to stick with the in Premier League.
“The ‘one game at a time’ thing that’s been strapped to us from last season is still relevant, whatever way you look at it.
“You can only do it one game at a time,” he said.
“Our first marker will be getting ready in pre-season to hit the first game and operate from thereon in.
“We’ll build from what we’ve delivered in the past season and add to that to take into the new season.
“I have my beliefs and the staff follow my beliefs and the team have done that.”
Meanwhile, Dyche is aiming to finalise further contracts, after securing Danny Lafferty on a new three-year deal.
The Clarets boss offered terms to Lafferty, Michael Duff, Junior Stanislas and Luke O’Neill at the end of the season.
So far only Lafferty has put pen to paper. But Dyche is hopeful that the rest will commit to the club over the summer.
“We’re already in negotiations,” said the Burnley manager.
“A lot of the players here were under contract and had built-in things that cover them moving forward.
“Some will be affected. Some will be ongoing.
“The good thing with that is that obviously started a few weeks ago.
“We’re pretty sure on the people that we wish to stay and extending contracts and that sort of thing. That’s ongoing.”
The squad is not due back for pre-season training until early July, but Dyche does not envisage any major hold-ups in the negotiation process despite players being on holiday or away on international duty.
“Most players operate with agents now, most agents take care of business, the player then speaks to the agent or to me or to Lee Hoos - whoever it may be, we’re all singing from the same songsheet here.
“We make that quite clear to the agents, there’s not one saying one thing and one saying another, we’re very open with our business and our players and the agents and obviously the club, and we align in the best possible fashion.
“That’s just an ongoing situation.”