Belfast Telegraph

Dyche backs Ings for England future

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was not surprised by striker Danny Ings' England exclusion but believes there is every likelihood he will graduate to the senior squad in the future.

The England Under-21 international scored five goals in seven games in January and early February and while he has drawn a blank in his last four, there was talk of him having a chance of being promoted to Roy Hodgson's squad for a Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and the friendly in Italy.

It did not materialise but Dyche believes the 22-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer and has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool, has the talent to make the step up.

"I don't think I am surprised," he said.

"I'd like to think he is in their thoughts but there are lots of other players out there who are doing well - the main one being Harry Kane.

"But I would certainly promote them continuing to monitor him because he has a freshness to the way he plays and is different to a number of centre-forwards who would be considered.

"He is definitely learning and that is a big thing when you are a young player.

"There are no guarantees, that is for Roy and his staff to decide on, but as long as he keeps progressing he will always be in their thinking."

Burnley did have another striker called up for national team action after Sam Vokes was selected by Wales after his first Premier League start in last weekend's surprise victory over Manchester City.

The 25-year-old is back in Chris Coleman's squad for the first time in more than a year after recovering from a serious knee injury which delayed his Clarets' top-flight debut until after Christmas.

"It is great to get a call up again. It has been a long road back and to get 85 minutes under my belt last weekend was another stepping stone," said Vokes.

On his fellow striker Ings's England prospects the forward added: "He is at a stage now when he is definitely pushing. He is good enough to be in at that level and over the next few years I think he will prove that.

"He brings something different to what they have now. You have seen with his goals this year he can definitely finish."

Last weekend's victory over City gave a real shot in the arm to Burnley's survival hopes, putting them just a point behind 17th-placed Sunderland - who have just sacked Gus Poyet and brought in Dick Advocaat.

Dyche insists they have put the City win behind them and are not really considering what effect the Black Cats' managerial change will have on the race for survival.

"The one thing I have learned is there is no guarantee," said the Clarets boss.

"It was a good performance, we edged it and did enough to get a win on the day and we are going to have to do it again.

"We are aware of the league but we are not totally staring at it and that is the same for what is outside of us.

"Different clubs make different decisions for all different reasons but we are focused on what we are doing here."

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