SEAN Dyche has challenged Ashley Barnes to put the pressure on top scorers Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, after making the striker his first money signing.
Dyche had pursued the 24-year-old for many months, and finally landed his prime target on the eve of this afternoon’s game at Yeovil Town on a three-and-a-half year deal from Brighton worth around £750,000.
Although Huish Park is new territory for the Clarets, it is a familiar part of the world for Somerset-born Barnes, who has four goals in six games in the south west since leaving Plymouth in 2010.
There has been a familiar look to Burnley’s front men all season.
Only once has the partnership of Vokes and Ings been broken up, with Ings missing the December visit of Watford with a minor injury.
But Dyche is backing Barnes to push both predators for a place.
“It’s been well documented that we need support in that area of the pitch, but we also needed that challenge,” said the Burnley boss.
“Ashley is a robust, hard working centre forward with an eye for goal and he is someone we have known about and monitored for a while now.
“We did our homework and he is definitely someone who wants to work hard to continue as a player.
“I can assure you Ashley is not here just to supplement the group and support the front two, but to make sure we have a real challenge up front.
“I know he is that type of character and he is willing to earn the right to play.
“We see him as a strong player coming in with a will and desire to improve and affect football matches, as strikers do by scoring goals.”
Burnley held talks with Barnes on Thursday, when a medical also took place after agreeing a fee with Brighton late on Wednesday evening.
Leeds United threatened to hijack the deal before it was finalised, but Dyche said: “We know our interest and we know where it’s been, and we’ve always done our business accordingly.”