Burnley boss Sean Dyche on his decision to start striker Ashley Barnes against Wolves

Sean Dyche admits it was his gut feeling to go with Ashley Barnes ahead of Jay Rodriguez against Wolves.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 10:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 10:26 am
Ashley Barnes

Rodriguez had started the last five Premier League games, in which Burnley had only lost once, but goals had proved hard to come by for the side.

Barnes had only one start in that time, as he, Rodriguez and Chris Wood were selected for the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.

But despite Barnes being without a goal since last November – a run of 17 appearances interspersed by a hernia injury and subsequent problems – he got the nod, and did the business.

Barnes opened the scoring, and ended the game with winning the most duels and aerial duels won, most fouls won, and having the most shots and most shots on target.

Dyche explained his decision: “Sometimes you’ve just got to do what you think is right, and sometimes it is just a bit of a feeling.

“Barnesy we asked a lot of him earlier in the season, I made that clear, we probably overplayed him, and now he’s had a break from it, come back in and looked alive and sharp in training.

“He scored a good goal, but Jay has been working hard as well.

“It’s just hard when the strikers aren’t scoring, you have to find a way, and historically Barnes and Wood have been very good for us.

“They both scored tonight, so I’m pleased for them and the team.”

For Barnes, it was some relief after a frustrating year, and Dyche added: “I’m pleased for him. He’s had a tough old run of injuries and all the rest of it, but keeps working at his game.

“It was a good performance overall, he worked very hard which he generally does and he knows how to use his body to play and be effective. He nicked a lovely goal with some good movement, peels off the back of the defender. It was a great knock from Chaz (Taylor) and a really good goal.”