Strike duo Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes have just clicked for Clarets
Leading scorer Chris Wood claims that his partnership with fellow Clarets striker Ashley Barnes ‘just clicks’.
Former Uruguayan midfielder Gus Poyet was the mastermind responsible for their initial merger at Brighton more than eight years ago.
New Zealand international Wood’s services were acquired temporarily as he switched to the Withdean Stadium on loan from West Brom while Barnes, at this point, had already made his move from Plymouth Argyle a permanent one.
The potence of the pair’s headline act was first recognised in November of the 2010/11 campaign when Wood, on his debut, converted from the spot for the Seagulls in a 2-2 draw with Bristol Rovers.
That season their on-screen bond blossomed as they made 53 starts between them in League One, combining to score 26 times as they were promoted to the Championship as champions.
Jay Rodriguez praises Burnley assistant Craig Bellamy for the part he has played in the striker’s prolific start to the season
Ex-Arsenal, Everton and England forward — now a team-mate of Nathan Tella at Southampton — is the inspiration for Burnley loan star
Burnley FC: Jordan Beyer reflects on the international period and discusses his first month at Turf Moor
The pair were separated the following term as Wood’s exploits earned him a move to the Baggies’ West Midland rivals Birmingham City.
Barnes, on the other hand, remained in East Sussex. They would go up against each other seven times before their reconciliation at Turf Moor in the summer of 2017.
Both had to be patient. Fleeting substitute appearances meant they passed like ships in the night on matchdays.
That was until March last year when they were named alongside each other for the first time at Burnley in familiar surroundings for Wood - a Premier League game at the Hawthorns.
Barnes opened the scoring acrobatically midway through the first half and Wood doubled the advantage in the second half before Salomon Rondon pulled a goal back for the hosts late on.
Since then they’ve started 16 games together under Sean Dyche, scoring a total of 14 goals between them in those games.
After Wood netted twice against Chris Hughton’s men at the Amex Stadium - and Barnes claimed a goal and an assist in the 3-1 triumph - he said: “It’s always nice to pick up goals, especially coming down here. Yeah, it’s nice to score some goals.
“We had a great time here working well together, it’s nice that we could reform that at Burnley.
“We do like it, we form a good partnership and we’ve shown that on a number of occasions. It’s always nice for us to get on the scoresheet.
“It’s just a lot of training and a lot of game time together, it just seems to come together at times.
“You just click with another partner and another team mate as well as that and we seem to have clicked really well.”
The All Whites forward could have finished up with a hat-trick in Falmer, which would have been his first domestically since a 5-2 win over Carlisle for Leicester City in a League Cup tie at Brunton Park in 2013.
However, with the whole of the goal to aim at once Mat Ryan had bundled over Barnes, the 27-year-old skewed his effort wide of the upright.
Wood’s blushes were spared when Stuart Attwell brought play back and awarded a penalty, one that Barnes stepped up to convert.
“It’s always disappointing especially when you’ve got a guilt edge chance like that and it comes off your heel,” he said.
“With Barnesy being the striker that he is, he wanted to take the penalty when he won it and that’s how it goes. We have a rule as strikers that if you win it you normally take it. That’s fair enough.
“I definitely did fancy it. It’s just one of them things, as strikers here we take responsibility for penalties. Normally if you win them you take it.
“He won it, I asked him for it, but he said ‘no I’m taking it’ which is fair enough. He won the penalty, so we move on and we go again.
“There’s no denying I wanted it. I’m sure if Barnesy wanted one as well, it’s how we are as strikers. We’ve got a rule, if you win them you take it.”