STRIKER Danny Ings feels the season has ended prematurely from a personal perspective.
The 20-year-old ended a torrid campaign, plagued by injury, with a 30-yard thunderbolt in the 1-1 draw with Bristol City at Turf Moor.
His third goal in nine starts for the Clarets remedied the agony of a six-month spell on the sidelines to an extent but, having recovered from cruciate knee ligament damage suffered just days after joining from Bournemouth in August, the striker found frustration in the campaign’s finale.
“It’s been frustrating for me because I’ve been out for most of the season,” said Ings. “But I’m delighted with how I’ve come back and got a few goals under my belt. In the time that I’ve played I hope I’ve shown the fans what I’m capable of.
“It’s gutting for me really because I feel as though my season has just started. But that’s football and I’ve got to deal with that. I’ve got some time off now to strengthen my knee and come back quicker and who knows what will happen next year.”
With the result an exception Ings couldn’t have scripted a more spectacular conclusion, breaking the deadlock against the Robins with a stinging drive from distance in the 76th minute. With City boss Derek McInnes naming no keeper on the bench, defender Liam Fontaine had filled the void once veteran David James limped off to deserving applause.
But Ings felt that even the former England international would have struggled to thwart his fizzed effort.
No he wouldn’t have,” smiled Ings. “I think there was a bit too much power on it to be honest. It was a good, clean strike and I’m just glad that it went in. I’m just glad I got that goal. It wasn’t a bad one to be fair; it was one of those where as soon as it leaves your foot it’s got half a chance to go in. Hopefully that will give me a confidence boost and I can take that on to next season now.”
Now the industrious hitman plans to rest and recuperate over the coming weeks, before hitting the gym in preparation for the 2012/13 campaign.
“I’ll have a little bit of a break but not too long and then I’ll be in the gym every day doing exercises on my knee to make it stronger,” he said. “I want to get fitter, stronger and quicker and try to get myself back in to better shape than I was this year so that I’m ready for next season.
“I’ll probably have about three weeks to rest my knee up and then I’ll push myself hard in the gym. I haven’t felt me knee. It’s been fantastic, it’s well ahead of schedule and it’s feeling smooth. I’m not having any problems and hopefully I can keep that going now.”