Sean Dyche believes the absence of supporters from stadiums this season could explain why teams such as Burnley have fared better away from home than in previous campaigns.
Burnley is widely accepted to be a difficult place to visit in the Premier League, but the Clarets have struggled at Turf Moor since the turn of the year, winning just one of 11 top-flight fixtures in 2021.
Their last three wins have been on the road while they have collected as many points on their travels as they have at home this term, with 18 apiece leaving them on the brink of safety ahead of Monday night's trip to Fulham.
"I think the balance is out of kilter from many teams. There must be something in the fan element, there's got to be," Dyche said.
"Before the lockdown, if you asked a normal supporter if their team had better home or away form they'd say better home form.
"Then there was a lockdown and it's changed. Therefore, there must be something in fans being in stadiums."
Burnley started the season by taking two points from their first seven matches, having underwhelmed in the transfer window with only the signing of Dale Stephens offsetting the losses of Aaron Lennon, Jeff Hendrick and Joe Hart.
Injuries to key players occurred in the early part of the campaign but Burnley's situation gradually improved and they now sit nine points clear of 18th-placed Fulham ahead of their visit to Craven Cottage.
"We believe in what we do, the players believe in what we do," Dyche said. "That's been quite apparent this season, from game seven to get to where we are now, it's been quite apparent the players believe in what we do.
"The detail of delivery is important, the physicality – as in the running power of a side – is important and ours is very strong and then bringing that together with the talent of a side and I do believe we've got talent.
"I do really believe that. When we get the mix right we can be competitive in this division against anyone."
Victory over Fulham would guarantee Burnley's top-flight status for another season – and condemn Scott Parker's side to an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.
But Dyche, who will once again be without Robbie Brady and Kevin Long due to injuries, insisted the significance of the result does not alter his mindset.
"I always make it clear to the team our thinking is to win the game," he added. "I've always believed that's the best way of going about it, that's my opinion.
"The game is irrelevant in the sense that if your performance is right then you'll look after yourself.
"There is obviously more weight on their side just because of what the table and the stats suggest. For us it's another important game."