BURNLEY midfielder Scott Arfield has backed January signing Ashley Barnes to fire Burnley to the Premier League.
Barnes is set for an extended run in the team alongside Sam Vokes with the Clarets leading scorer Danny Ings sidelined with an ankle injury.
Ings could yet be fit to face Leicester in a top-of-the table clash at the end of the month but Burnley boss Sean Dyche is unlikely to rush the Championship Player of the Year back into the starting XI.
And Arfield, insists that the Clarets, and Barnes, can carry the goalscoring burden in the absence of the England Under 21 international.
“Danny is a phenomenal player,” said the 25 year old who netted the winner in the weekend win over Leeds.
“To not have that trickiness up front is a miss but we have Barnesy coming in. He was different class with his link-up play (against Leeds) and his hold-up – he’s a handful for anybody.
“He didn’t get his goal but he showed what a good player he is and what an addition to the team he can be.”
Arfield believes that Barnes can form an effective partnership with Vokes – the Welshman has scored 19 league goals himself this season.
“Hopefully in weeks to come if Danny’s still struggling we can get a few goals off them,” added the Scot.
The former Huddersfield man knows it is important that the Clarets chip in with goals from elsewhere with Ings and Vokes having netted 44 of their 59 Championship goals so far this season.
Arfield himself has seven strikes in all competitions and is keen for the midfielders to bring more goals to the table in the final 10 games of the season.
He added: “I think it’s very important that it's not just Vokesy and Ingsy carrying it.
“It’s a brilliant partnership up top but it’s important for others boys to chip in – the likes of myself, Dean Marney, Keith Treacy, Junior Stanislas and Ross Wallace.”
Arfield was released by Burnley’s Championship rivals Huddersfield in the summer and believes the signs of a Clarets promotion push were there when he made the move to Turf Moor.
“You could see how the squad was shaping up and the ability,” he added.
“A lot’s been made of the size of the squad but it’s a quality squad and I don’t think there were any problems showing people what we can do.
“In this league, you’ve got to be strong and I think we’ve got that in abundance.
“The ability speaks for itself and with the two boys up top so you're always going to score goals.
“One of our strengths is resilience. I think we’re the fittest (team) in the league and it shows at the back end of games.
“I think that’s the least you can do as a footballer, work hard and be fit and hopefully on the day your ability shines through.”