Burnley boss Sean Dyche backs striker in pursuit of three-figure milestone!

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is confident that the goals will come for Ashley Barnes, in the striker's pursuit of his 100th career goal.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 12:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 12:51 pm
Burnley boss Sean Dyche

The 31-year-old has netted 44 times for the Clarets in all competitions and is just one goal shy of reaching the three-figure milestone.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion forward, who added 53 goals to his tally during his time with the Seagulls, has found the net just once in his last 22 appearances.

That came just before Christmas when he headed the Clarets into a 35th minute lead against Wolves at Turf Moor.

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Manchester United's Harry Maguire in action with Burnley's Ashley Barnes during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on January 12, 2021 in Burnley, England.

Ahead of the trip to the London Stadium, where Burnley have beaten West Ham twice in their previous three visits, Dyche said: "We like him, we like the way he operates, we like how he is as a player.

"We took him out and put him back in and now he's looking sharp again. I think his next goal is just around the corner, It'll be fantastic if it's in the next game. The goals will come for Barnesy, without a doubt."

Burnley have upped their Premier League goal count in the last couple of seasons, netting 45 in 2018/19 and 43 last term – their best tallies in the competition.

But their current form in front of goal is cause for concern. Burnley’s 1-0 defeat against Manchester United on Tuesday night means Dyche’s side only have nine goals from their opening 16 league games.

Matej Vydra of Burnley reacts during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on January 12, 2021 in Burnley, England.

And if they continue at that rate, they are on course to finish with just 21.7 goals.

The lowest number of goals scored in a Premier League season is the 20 Derby County netted on the way to being relegated in 2008.

"I ask questions of the centre halves let's say if a goal goes in so it is only fair at times to ask questions of the centre forwards as well," said Dyche.

"My point is that I tend to leave them alone because I think it is the hardest job in the game."

Matej Vydra, who forced a late equaliser in the FA Cup third round tie against MK Dons, gave Dyche more food for thought following his introduction against the Red Devils.

The Czech Republic international, who replaced Chris Wood with 10 minutes remaining, fashioned a number of openings in his cameo against the new Premier League leaders.

Dyche said: "He has had a bit of injury and has come out of that. It was a minor thing that took a bit longer than we thought.

"He looked sharp when he came on and we want that from our substitutes as well as the starters.

"His job is to come on, look sharp, be alive and be ready to go."