Burnley striker Barnes dreaming of a European tour

Striker Ashley Barnes doesn't see any reason why the Clarets can't finish as the 'best of the rest' in the Premier League and give themselves hope of European qualification.

Sunday, 31st December 2017, 10:27 pm
Huddersfield Town's Florent Hadergjonaj attempts to block the shot from Burnley's Ashley Barnes

Following the goalless draw with Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium as the curtain closed on 2017, the 28-year-old claimed that Burnley were targeting a top seven finish and possible inclusion in the Europa League.

Sean Dyche's side are seven points clear of their closest rivals heading in to the New Year's Day clash with Liverpool at Turf Moor, the club's 22nd fixture of the top flight term.

And they've given themselves a real chance of achieving something special with up to seven English teams entering UEFA competitions.

Should clubs finishing in the top five win the FA Cup and EFL Cup the next highest ranked teams in the division would be granted the respective UEL group stage and UEL third qualifying round places.

That, Barnes says, is the ambition of the squad: "Why not? We’re seven points clear so why can we not go and challenge the top boys? Every game is tough in this league but we’re there for a reason, because we’ve done so well.

"We’ve got to believe, that’s what we’re aiming for, if we can get there then fair play.

"It’s fantastic, it just shows how far we’ve come as a group of players but we want to keep striving for more and get as many points on the board as possible."

He added: "You've just got to look at the league. The league position speaks for itself. For us we're just taking it one game at a time but the table and the points don't lie.

"We are where we are on merit and we do need to start believing more and keep believing, keep going and keep striving towards being in the Europa League.

"We've another tough, tough game now but it's going to be the same for them. Hopefully we can capitalise on that, we're at home so who knows what can happen?"