Striker Ashley Barnes hails character of the Clarets

Ashley Barnes hailed the ‘never-say-die’ attitude of his team-mates as the Clarets secured a point at the very death against Southampton at Turf Moor.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:46 pm
Ashley Barnes remonstrates with referee Anthony Taylor during the game against Southampton at Turf Moor

There were just seconds left when Jack Stephens was adjudged to have handled Ashley Westwood’s cross inside the box while under pressure from debutant Peter Crouch.

Barnes, who was denied by both Alex McCarthy and the woodwork in the second half, kept his cool to stroke home the penalty and net his third goal in Burnley’s six-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. After converting the club’s first spot kick in league football for 68 games, the striker said: “You have to keep your heads and keep going as a team and luckily enough we got the reward at the end.

“Everyone knows, and the fans know, we don’t stop until the end and we give it our all and fight until the end and that’s what we’ve done today.

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“I had enough chances to put one away, but I had to keep going, which is what we do as strikers, and luckily enough I got my rewards at the end with the goal.

“I thought we deserved the three points. Unfortunately, we didn’t get them, but we got a point at the end of the day, so we’ll go away happy.”

Burnley’s record goalscorer in the Premier League was denied what looked like a clear-cut spot kick earlier in the game when upended by Saints stopper McCarthy just after the half-hour.

Incredibly the decision went against the striker, who was booked by referee Anthony Taylor for simulation.

“In my opinion it was a penalty,” he said. “I took a touch. I didn’t even realise the goalie was out that far and as I took a touch, he brought me down.

“I was disappointed it wasn’t given. The referee, in his eyes, and the linesman said I dived. So be it and you have to keep going but it was very frustrating.

The 29-year-old linked up with Crouch for the final 15 minutes of the game. And he was happy with the former England international’s contribution.

Barnes said: “The big man was brilliant. You could see when he came on how many chances we got and he’s won the penalty for us.

“He attracts a lot of the defenders away which gives you more space to get a few more chances and hopefully we can all get some game time.

“We’ve still got a long way to go until the end of the season and we need to keep picking up as many points as possible.”