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David Eyres column: Promotion is Burnley's to lose now
THE gap could have been even more imposing come Wednesday night, but even an eight-point advantage still makes second spot Burnley’s to lose.
We have got ourselves into a very healthy position and it would take something monumental to upset the applecart now in my eyes.
I don’t think even a short-term absence for Danny Ings could rock us, not with Ashley Barnes waiting in the wings for his first start.
No-one wants to see a team-mate get injured, but Barnes has bided his time since coming in, waiting for an opportunity to open up to get his chance.
He will have understood why, given the performance levels of Ings and Sam Vokes.
But Sean Dyche brought him in to add to those qualities and enhance the Clarets’ attacking options, and this could be an opportunity for another partnership to develop.
Barnes has had an impact off the bench in games since making his January move from Brighton to either help see games out or, as was the case at Ewood Park, a hand in turning the game around.
We will miss Ings if that proves to be the case against Leeds United today, but it’s not the be all and end all. Undoubtedly when he is fit and healthy he is a big asset to the team, which is why he is up for the Championship player of the year prize.
After scoring such an important goal in the derby last weekend he would want the opportunity to kick on from there.
He won’t want to miss any game.
But it would be better for the striker to miss one or two if necessary, after limping off against Birmingham City, than to risk a longer term problem.
The most important thing is that he is fit for the games coming up, especially over the busy Easter period, to hopefully finish the job and get the Clarets up.
Ings’ exit proved to be one half of a double blow at St Andrew’s, where we led three times but conceded a stoppage time equaliser.
It could prove to be a very good point, though.
The gap is getting wider and it’s getting more difficult for teams to catch us, so the next three or four games could show us exactly where we are going to be come the end of the season.
All we can do is carry on taking it a game at a time, with Leeds next up at Turf Moor.
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