New signing Ashley Barnes ready for the challenge
Ashley Barnes accepts he will have to be patient to break up the Championship’s most prolific partnership.
But the 24-year-old is determined to help push Burnley towards promotion to the Premier League after signing from Brighton on a three and a half-year deal on Friday.
Danny Ings and Sam Vokes have scored 33 goals between them this season, in firing the Clarets to second place in the table with 21 games remaining.
Former Plymouth man Barnes backs his own ability to compliment the pair, however:
“As long as the lads keep playing like they do I’m happy to sit on the bench.
“I’ve no complaints.
“I’m happy to be the third man and just play a part when I can.
“The lads have been fantastic since I came in, the manager is great and I can’t wait to get started.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m just here to push them on and to help them score even more goals.
“I like as a striker to help your partner, and those two are working so well together, hopefully I can be the third one to help them both.”
Burnley made three unsuccessful bids for Barnes in August, but went back in for him as the January window opened, and Barnes is thrilled to join a battle for automatic promotion: “The team’s been fantastic for the whole season, hopefully I can just come in and help them push for the last stride now to get over the line.
“I’ve always been aware of their interest, it was just a matter of when and what time in this window.
“I got here about 2 a.m. on Thursday and then it was just a whirlwind from there.
“It’s a massive club. Look where they are in the league, they’ve been in the Premier League before so they know what it’s all about, and I just want to help them get back there. That’s the aim, I’m here to help.
“I see it as a massive chance to get promoted.”
An Austrian Under 20 international, the Bath-born striker has spent four years with Brighton, helping the Seagulls to promotion to the Championship, but, despite being offered an extension to his contract - which was due to expire in the summer - he admitted: “I needed a fresh start and a new challenge and this is it.
“I want to thank all the Brighton people for my time there - I helped get them where they are today - but this is the next chapter in my life.
“Brighton couldn’t get someone in, but they did that in this window and eased the way for me to move on.
“It’s a fantastic club and everyone was great around the club to me. I had four great years there.
“Now I’m here I want to crack on.
“The club sold itself, where they are in the league.
“I needed a fresh challenge and I want to be part of that squad to push for more and help everyone I can around the place.”
There was interest from elsewhere, but Barnes said it was a simple decision to come to Turf Moor: “There was interest from Leeds and Wolves, but once I spoke to the manager here my mind was made up.
“It was close to happening in the summer but it wasn’t to be. I owe every faith to the gaffer because I was the target that he wanted and I’m here now.
“You want to be a wanted man and be somewhere where someone wants you.”