Joey Barton has urged Burnley to prove they are the best team in the Championship, adding that his first season at Turf Moor has been "a privilege".
Since his arrival on a free transfer last summer, the 33-year-old has played a key role in Sean Dyche's side, who sealed a return to the top flight at the first time of asking with a 1-0 win over Barton's former club, Queens Park Rangers, on Monday.
It is the third time the midfielder has been promoted from the Championship, having previously gone up with QPR and Newcastle, meaning he is all too aware on what it takes to get out of the division.
And he believes Burnley, who have gone 22 league games unbeaten since Boxing Day, are the best team in the second tier, adding that being promoted as champions would be extra sweet for him and his side.
He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I was fortunate enough to be part of a squad that won it at Newcastle, and I got promotion at QPR via the play-offs — while it’s a fantastic way to go up, it’s not being champions, it’s not being the best team in the league, and I think since the defeat at Hull we’ve been that. We’ve been resolute, disciplined, it’s a real collective effort,” said Barton.
“There’s lads who have an abundance of appearances but their attitude in training, the way they handle the disappointment of not being in the starting 11, it’s a real collective effort and an absolute privilege to be a part of.”
The Clarets face already-relegated Charlton on the final day, and Barton suggest that lifting the trophy could give the team a psychological edge heading into the summer.
He added: “The goal for us is to win the league and we’ve not done that yet. We look forward to going to Charlton with the pressure off but we’ve got to win and go and cement it. There’s no better way to go into the summer than being 23 games unbeaten, the Championship trophy, you go down in history. There’s some illustrious names in football clubs and players who have held that aloft.
“That’s the focus, that was my focus when I walked into the football club.”