Kightly’s surprise at mini-slump talk

No chance: Barnsley keeper Jack Butland is left rooted by Michael Kightly's goal on Saturday
No chance: Barnsley keeper Jack Butland is left rooted by Michael Kightly's goal on Saturday

Matchwinner Michael Kightly admitted he and the side haven’t been at their best of late - but was surprised at talk of a “mini-slump”.

After two months on top of the table, a first defeat in 13 games at Huddersfield last Saturday saw the Clarets deposed by Leicester City.

However, a first win in six league games against Barnsley took them back to the summit.

Kightly was taken off at half-time at Huddersfield, and on the bench midweek for the goal-less draw with Watford, and he said: “If I’m honest I probably did need a rest. In the last three games I felt a bit leggy, I don’t know why.

“Training is spot on but I just felt leggy. But I came on against Watford and felt really good, I felt back to my old self and I did against Barnsley. I probably needed it yeah.

“I haven’t really asked the boys about whether they felt similar. We’ve not been as good as we can be recently. Sometimes that’s bit of a mental thing but were pleased to win and hopefully we can kick on now.”

He added: “People were saying we had a little slump but we only lost one game in that. So we’ve still got good form going.

“We’ve got high expectations of ourselves and we know as a team that we haven’t been performing as well as we can.

“So that’s obviously frustrating. But we haven’t lost four on the spin or anything, we’ve lost one game in 15. If that’s a slump then I’ll take that all day long!”

The run of five league games without a win has led to anxiety in the stands, but Kightly praised manager Sean Dyche for deflecting that: “We’ve not made too much into it as players. We believe in what we’ve got here, and we’ve got a great set of staff who take pressure off the players, and the gaffer at half-time said just go out and enjoy it and play football.

“Don’t look like you’re worrying about anything, and I think that’s what we did in the second half. We could’ve got one or two more.

“We’re a good side. I think it’s different now to 10 games ago when teams weren’t taking us seriously.

“Teams come here and expect a tough game so they raise their game. That’s something we’ve got to deal with.

“It’s nice to be top but it’s still early days and we’re not going to get carried away.”

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