Ashley Barnes ‘ruffling feathers’ in Premier League

Burnley's Ashley Barnes vies for possession with Manchester City's Martin Demichelis ''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football

Burnley's Ashley Barnes vies for possession with Manchester City's Martin Demichelis ''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football

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Kieran Trippier isn’t surprised Ashley Barnes has ruffled a few feathers in Premier League defences.

The Clarets right back revealed the former Brighton forward is a “nightmare” and “horrible” to play against.

Barnes has hit three goals in four games, going into the New Year’s Day trip to Newcastle, and earned many plaudits for his overall display in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Sunday.

Trippier said: “Barnesy has done brilliant, he was an absolute nuisance at City, putting himself about, him and Ingsy, you see the physical stats - they ran them ragged.

“He’s growing, he wasn’t in the squad at the start of the season, but he’s got his chance and taken it.

“He’s got three goals in his last four games, and they’ve all been quality goals as well.

“He’s horrible, he backs into you, standing on your toes on purpose, nips you...

“When he was at Brighton he was horrible to play against, but he’s a nuisance and that’s what we want.

“Our front two never stop running and that’s a nightmare for defenders.

“If you’re constantly being closed down and pressed its a nightmare, and ever since he’s been in the team he’s worked hard and given everything.

“You can’t ask for more.”

Barnes is joint top-scorer at the club so far this season with four goals, level with Danny Ings, but Trippier isn’t shocked by his form in front of goal, and feels the forward department is looking very healthy with the return of Sam Vokes: “He’s not surprised me because we saw his quality when he came in last January, hopefully he can score many more goals.

“We have Jukes too, and Marvin, so we have five strikers fit and firing, everybody wants the shirt but we have a lot of confidence going into the second half of the season.”

Trippier rooms with Vokes on away trips, and is thrilled to see his mate back in contention after nine months out: “It was a bad injury for him, and being in and around the squad and on the bench, it must give him a lot of confidence. And to come on, with the reception he got, was fully deserved.

“Im delighted he’s back, fit and raring to go.

“He’s my room mate and has been at the games, we’ve talked a lot, I was with him in the summer and tried to be with him and much as I can in case he was feeling down, but all the lads have been brilliant with him and we’re all delighted he’s back.

“He’s more hungry because the front two are doing well, but he’s patient and I’m sure he’ll take his chance when it comes.”

Asked whether he can take the league by storm, Trippier added: “100%, he’s a big, physical lad and a goal scorer - he’s back now and hopefully he can get some more goals for us.”