Belfast Telegraph

Dyche: Ings determined for Burnley

Burnley boss Sean Dyche expects Danny Ings to deliver another high-calibre performance on Wednesday - but not one additionally motivated by the fact the opposition will be the striker's reported suitors Liverpool.

The Reds are among several clubs to have been linked with Ings, who has scored nine goals for Burnley this season and is out of contract in the summer.

Dyche has been full of praise for the 22-year-old's recent displays.

And when asked at his press conference whether he thought Ings might have extra determination when playing against Liverpool at Anfield, the manager said: "I think his determination has been there for all to see - I think he has been delivering good performances no matter what.

"He has been very good in his performance level, very good around the group and wants to do well for this football club. The rest will take care of itself."

While Ings, holder of seven England Under-21 caps, has netted five times in his last eight league games, Philippe Coutinho has been the man catching the eye of late for Liverpool, scoring stunning goals in each of his past two appearances.

The Brazil playmaker has been touted by his club manager Brendan Rodgers as a contender for the player of the season prizes, and Dyche has no doubt Coutinho is "up there" with the stand-out performers of 2015 so far.

The Burnley boss has also stressed that his side have become accustomed to facing star players in their comeback Premier League campaign.

"There are some very highly talented players out there and Coutinho is developing into one of many in the Premier League who I think are absolutely top class," Dyche said.

"We have played against so many good players this season. (Manchester United winger) Angel Di Maria made his debut against us after being brought in for £60million - more than this club's ever spent in its whole history, on one player."

Burnley have often performed well against major outfits this term, not least in recent contests at Manchester United and Chelsea.

However, they only took a point in total from those two encounters and have struggled in that way all season, claiming victory only four times.

They have won just two of their last 15 league matches, none of their last six, and they are currently 18th in the table after 27 played on 22 points - the same amount as 17th-placed QPR, who have a game in hand over them.

As their battle to avoid relegation continues, it seems the Clarets will need to produce something really special to get much out of their next five fixtures, with them following the Liverpool clash by hosting Manchester City, then travelling to Southampton, before welcoming Tottenham and Arsenal to Turf Moor.

And on Wednesday they take on a side very much in form, Rodgers' men having gone 11 top-flight games unbeaten and winning eight of those.

But Dyche is keen to emphasise that he and his players are relishing the challenges ahead of them.

"This is the absolute reality of the Premier League," Dyche said.

"We have great growth in our side, I'm convinced of that, with the way the players have moved forwards since the beginning of the season when we were heavily questioned (while failing to win in their first 10 Premier League games).

"And this is another great challenge.

"This is the challenge we wanted, we grasp it and we want to run with it, take it on, deliver performances and win games. The focus is quite clear from me and my group."

Dyche has no fresh injury concerns in his squad ahead of the Anfield game.

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