Belfast Telegraph

Ings riding high on confidence

Burnley striker Danny Ings feels he is going to score every time he takes to the pitch at the moment and has been backed by his team-mates to make a future breakthrough at senior level for England.

Ings' early brace in Saturday's 2-1 Barclays Premier League win at Stoke took his tally to three goals in his last four games for his club, and came nine days after he netted twice in a friendly for England Under-21s.

Certainly the 22-year-old, the Clarets' top-scorer in their 2013-14 promotion campaign, has found his form again since returning to action in October following a spell out with a hamstring injury.

And Ings said: "I'm enjoying my football and everyone knows that I'm at my best when I have a smile on my face.

"I'm going out and knowing I'm going to score goals and be a problem.

"I feel like I'm taking everything in my stride. I knew goals would not come as frequently as last year.

"I think I'm coping with the league well, and that my form, touches and all-round game are improving every week, and now I'm getting goals as well.

"The hamstring injury is probably the best thing that could have happened to me. My form since then has been a lot better.

"It's clear to see I'm improving and getting stronger."

While Ings making the step up to the England seniors is something he does not see happening just yet, he knows continuing to hit the back of the net is likely to put him in contention.

"I'm only young and there's a long way to go for that sort of step," Ings said.

"Obviously scoring goals for the Under-21s is only one level down but I need to maintain my form for my club. As long as I keep scoring then who knows?"

Ings' Burnley colleagues have every confidence that step will come for the frontman.

Winger Michael Kightly, the former Stoke man who set up Ings' second goal on Saturday, said: "Danny is one of the best strikers I've played with. He is going to be a top player.

"It scares you what he can do so young. I think he'll be playing for England one day."

And Clarets defender Kieran Trippier said of Ings: "I think he can go all the way to the top.

"It is only a matter of time before he will be playing for England."

Burnley's win on Saturday made it back-to-back victories - their first wins of the season - after the 1-0 defeat of Hull and they are now off the bottom of the table.

Stoke, who pulled a goal back through Jonathan Walters around the half-hour mark but could not make the sustained pressure thereafter count, had been hoping to make it two successive triumphs themselves, having beaten Tottenham 2-1 away in their previous match.

Their struggle to find consistency this term continues and they have tough fixtures coming up, facing Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea before Christmas.

The Potters - currently 11th - were guilty of sloppy play against Burnley as Ings notched close-range finishes in the 12th and 13th minutes, and defender Geoff Cameron said: "Maybe we have become too complacent.

"We need to get on a bit of a run like we did last year. We've just got to keep our heads down, stay focused and work hard.

"We know our schedule is tough ahead of us. We've got to take as many points as we can and make it difficult for them to play.

"They are very good teams, but they are beatable teams."

Meanwhile, Stoke will assess Victor Moses after the on-loan Chelsea winger suffered an injury in what was an eventful game for him.

Only around a month after he had been branded a diving "cheat" by Swansea boss Garry Monk, Moses was the subject of fresh controversy as he went to ground - seemingly very easily - in the Burnley box, an incident referee Martin Atkinson took no action over.

He later departed the field clutching his leg, and Stoke boss Mark Hughes said: "It looked muscular but I'm not sure if it was his thigh or his hamstring.

"We'll check it on Monday and we hope it is not too serious - we have key games coming up and need people available."

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