THE goals are yet to flow on Danny Ings’ return from injury, but Burnley boss Sean Dyche is happy to take a patient approach after praising the striker’s overall contribution in recent weeks.
Ings has had a stop-start beginning to his Turf Moor career after knee injuries have twice kept him on the sidelines since he arrived at the club from Bournemouth in August 2011.
The 20-year-old had to wait until February to make his Clarets debut but impressed many with his form in the latter stages of last season.
That delivered three goals in 16 games but he has scored just once in 15 appearances this term since making his comeback from an injury to his other knee.
Dyche, though, was happy with the way Ings helped to set up Junior Stanislas’ goal in last weekend’s win over Crystal Palace and believes the fee the striker was signed for should not add any extra pressure.
Although Burnley only paid Bournemouth an initial £200,000, the deal could turn out to be worth up to £1m for the Cherries depending on add-ons.
Asked if he believes goals were just around the corner for Ings, Dyche said: “I haven’t got a crystal ball but he’s certainly working hard to get into the right areas to score a goal and be productive for the team.
“He did fantastic for Junior’s chance and yet again showed a clear sign of what we have tried to help instil into the team and how we’re trying to guide them – to give up on nothing and to give everything. That was a great example of it.
“He’s developing. He’s so young still. When people move for more money people suddenly pre-suppose that ‘he must be good because he moved for money’.
“It’s not that he’s not good, not by any means, but it takes time.
“He’s had injuries, the feel of moving for money, and people sometimes forget how young he is.”
And Dyche says Ings is not the only Clarets star who must be given time to reach their full potential.
“Laffers (Daniel Lafferty) is another one, not young in years but in experience in the Championship,” said the Burnley boss.
“Even Vokesy (Sam Vokes) is a bit like that – being around a few clubs but not always playing week in week out.
“There are a number of those stories, and Tripps (Kieran Trippier, right) is another one.
“He’s a fine player, and playing very well but he’s 60, 70, 80 games into his career, so a mere baby really as regards his whole career.
“He’s developing his game, everyone knows he can go forward and he knows that.
“He can play, pass and cross and manipulate the ball very well, particularly for a full back, but everyone’s wondering ‘can he defend?’ and he’s shown again last week that he can do that.
“As a coach or manager you guide them as to what you think is important and it’s how they’re receptive to it. He’s certainly been receptive to what we’ve offered so far.
“We monitor them at the club, we monitor them wisely, I think they are developing and they’re showing clear signs of that with some of their performances.”
Today’s fixture at Millwall is subject to a 9am inspection because of the freezing conditions and snow in London.
The Den has undersoil heating but the Lions are also monitoring conditions outside the ground to determine whether the game can go ahead.
But whether it is today or for Burnley’s next match, Dyche admits he faces a selection dilemma.
Brian Stock is back from suspension and there could also be possible returns from injury for Chris McCann and Martin Paterson, although top scorer Charlie Austin remains doubtful for today’s game.
“There are a few that are close,” Dyche said of the possible returning players.
“Whether they’re fit as in going straight back in because of the injuries they’ve had, but they’ll certainly be in the group we think.
“That’s what every manager wants. You want a group of players who can go out and perform and win.
“The more that we can do that the more it builds the mentality of the squad, the fight for the shirt and your job is to get the right mix of any given Saturday or Tuesday to go out and win.”
Millwall begin the day in seventh spot in the Championship two points clear of the Clarets who sit 10th.