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Dyche tells Ings to enjoy himself


Burnley manager Sean Dyche has urged striker Danny Ings to keep smiling

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has urged striker Danny Ings to keep smiling

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has urged striker Danny Ings to keep smiling

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has told striker Danny Ings to keep on smiling - and the goals will return.

The relegation-battling Clarets have struggled for goals in recent weeks, despite some gritty performances, scoring just once in six games.

The hotly-rated Ings, whose future beyond the end of the season has been the subject of considerable speculation, has not found the net in seven appearances.

Dyche hopes the barren spell is not weighing too heavily on the 23-year-old's mind and has urged him to focus on enjoying his game.

Dyche said: "He's a bright young lad. He's a very good player and a good young lad who is grounded.

"But you can't actually get inside someone. When that whistle blows it's down to them to remind themselves of that freedom I speak about. I want players to play that way.

"His biggest thing is he puts a lot of demand on himself - and that can be a weakness as well as a strength. It's good that he has a thirst to improve, as do a lot of the players. But it has to be balanced with that enjoyment.

"I often say to him, play with a smile and I've told him he's best when he does. We're looking to him to continue doing that."

Burnley's battling performances have earned plaudits and despite the lack of goals, they have collected five points from a tough run of eight games. Amid that run they have beaten Manchester City and taken points off Chelsea and Tottenham.

They are in the bottom three but just two points from safety and Dyche is backing his forwards to come good again.

He said: "There's certainly not pressure (on the strikers) from me. We ventured down this road early season when the goals didn't come as freely then we had a good patch over the Christmas period.

"We have scored goals and been productive in front of goal. It's about reminding the players what it takes to do that, different ways of doing that and how we can affect games."

Striker Ashley Barnes insists confidence remains high among the group.

Barnes said: "We are in this together. We are striving for one thing - to stay in this league come the end of the season. That is the main aim.

"The positivity around the group and the staff remains the same and hopefully will continue."

Barnes has found himself in the spotlight of late following his controversial tackle on Chelsea's Nemanja Matic. The 25-year-old escaped punishment but Matic was sent off for his reaction to the challenge in a heated confrontation.

Barnes says that incident is now behind him.

"It has gone," he said. "I moved on a while back. I am just concentrating on staying in this league."

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