Practice makes perfect! - Dean Marney

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Match-winner Dean Marney admitted practice makes perfect as he celebrated sinking Portsmouth.

The Clarets midfielder, 27 next week, had been frustrated not to add to his solitary goal so far, coming in the 3-3 draw at Sheffield United.

He had seen a string of chances come and go, most notably in the defeat at Reading, where he was unfortunate to hit the bar.

But, after a pre-season wish to add more goals to his game, he netted his second for the club in spectacular fashion to earn the points on Tuesday at Fratton Park with a brilliant overhead kick.

And he dedicated the strike to his grandmother, who sadly died before Christmas: “I was due a goal.

“I have missed a lot of chances lately but I was getting a lot of shots on goal, so I knew eventually they would go in.

“Sometimes, as has been happening for me lately, those ones go into row Z, and sometimes they go in and thankfully it went in.

“I think that was my grandma looking down on me, and that gave me a lot of help.

“She sadly passed away just before Christmas, which was a tough time, but I’m sure she was looking down.”

Marney has started both games under new boss Eddie Howe, who has been impressed with his efforts in training and in competitive action.

Howe said on Tuesday night: “It was a great goal from Dean, he’s been excellent in the two games.

“It was a fantastic finish.

“I don’t know whether I knew he had it in him or not, but it was great to see it go in.”

And Marney feels there are more goals in his game: “It does get frustrating after a while because I was getting in some great positions and just not taking the chances and it costs the team.

“If I had taken my chances at Reading we would have won that game comfortably.

“But I just keep my head down and keep working hard and hopefully a few more will come.”

More importantly, the goal helped give Burnley their second away win of the campaign, and Howe a start of four points from six.

It took the Clarets ninth, five points off the play-off places with a game in hand, and seven points off second spot.

There is a break from the league campaign tomorrow as the Clarets look to seal a place in the FA Cup fifth round by beating League 2 Burton Albion at Turf Moor, but, with a trip to Doncaster to follow on Tuesday, Marney feels it is time for Burnley to make a surge for the top six: “It was a massive win.

“We were starting to drop down a bit, and we want to get back up there. With the squad that we’ve got, we should be up there.

“We’ve come to a tough place and won, and hopefully that will be the kick-start.

“It’s a really good start (for the manager). He has come in and freshened it up and it’s a clean slate for everyone.

“When he first came in I was injured, which was a little bit disappointing because I wanted to be out there training with the lads.

“But thankfully it settled down quickly, and I could get out there and I have played the last two games. At the minute I have got the shirt so it’s down to me to try and be consistent and stay in the team.”