Clarets defender Ben Mee believes that retaining the services of Danny Ings will provide the squad with a major boost.
Ings, who had scored in three successive games prior to defeat to Sunderland, had been subjected to intense speculation surrounding his Turf Moor future.
Liverpool were believed to be leading the race for the England Under 21 international’s signature, with the Anfield club seeking to exploit a loophole under Premier League ruling U8 to tie the striker up on a pre-contract agreement after initially being denied under V7 of the regulations.
“You want to keep your best players.,” Mee said. “Ings has been on form recently and we hope he can continue that. It’s great to keep hold of him and he’s looking forward to doing a job for us in this run in.
“You need a goalscorer in your team and he brings that to us plus there’s his work rate. He’s looking forward to helping us and it’s going to be exciting for him to be involved in what’s to come.”
La Liga side Real Sociedad, under the guidance of former Manchester United boss David Moyes, and Mee’s former employers Manchester City were also rumoured to be in the hunt for Ings who has scored seven league goals this term.
But the full back was confident that Ings would remain a Claret. Asked if he thought the striker would move on, Mee said: “Personally, no. I’d spoken to him and he’d said that he wanted to stay. I believed him so for me there wasn’t any inclination that he was going to leave.
“We need people who are going to put the ball in the back of the net so it’s a boost for any team to keep hold of their best players. Ings has been one of our best players this year so it’s a boost. He’s the kind of lad that will want to play for the team and do well for everyone.”
Defensive counterpart Michael Keane was the only permanent addition to the squad during the latest transfer window, but Mee believes that will spur the squad on for the remainder of the season.
“No, it is what it is,” said Mee. “We don’t know what the gaffer’s been doing behind the scenes but we just get on with our jobs.
“It’s going to drive us on massively towards the end of the year. We’re a good group of lads and we’ll keep fighting right until the last game of the season. It’s going to be exciting for every single one of the squad members.”
Mee, who scored his second career goal in the loss to Crystal Palace last month, returned to familiar surroundings alongside team-mate Kieran Trippier this week.
Frozen pictures at the club’s Gawthorpe base saw Sean Dyche take his squad to City’s former Carrington training complex ahead of the clash with West Brom.
Mee, whose former club moved to their new £200m Etihad Campus training facility earlier this season, admits the facilities have changed significantly since he was last at the complex.
“It was strange to be back,” he said. “It was empty but it’s close to my house so it’s just right there. It’s changed over the years, it was quite derelict when we first moved in there. It’s changed massively as the club got more successful with new ideas coming in.
“They’ve moved in to a new one which isn’t too bad, is it? They’ve been planning it for quite a while. It wasn’t a pain at all. It was good for the lads to see what it was like at Carrington. It was interesting.”
And on developments at Gawthorpe, the defender added: “Every club has aspirations and I think this club is going in the right direction. They’re putting money in to the facilities here and I’m sure it’ll be a good set up.”
Meanwhile, the Clarets take on Tony Pulis’ Baggies at Turf Moor with just two points separating the clubs in the Premier League table.
Following defeats to the Eagles and the Black Cats, Mee said: “It’s massive, very important, especially being at home as well in front of our own crowd. We want to take points from these games. It’s a big one and we’ll be up for it. Hopefully we can beat a team that’s around us.
“There’s still a long way to go, I don’t think it’ll have to much bearing but we want to win and keep climbing the table. We want to create a gap and it’ll be a big three points for whichever team wins.”
The 25-year-old will also be looking to avenge the 4-0 hammering suffered at the Hawthorns at the start of the campaign.
“We were disappointed with that,” said Mee. “It wasn’t like us to go there and not give a good account of ourselves. It’d be nice to get one over on them and it would be motivational if we were to do that. These games are important to us.”
Having conceded 16 goals in seven outings in all competitions, Mee added: “Nobody likes to concede goals and that’s something we need to address. We have been very solid throughout the last year so hopefully we can get back to being organised, compact and keeping those clean sheets.”