DANNY Ings described Burnley as a “powerful force” after being crowned Sky Bet Championship player of the year.
The Clarets top scorer beat off competition from the division’s leading marksman, Leeds striker Ross McCormack, and Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater to claim the prize at the Football League Awards 2014, as voted for by all Championship managers.
Ings received the award at a glittering ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday night as recognition for his 25-goal season so far.
Ings’ efforts have also been recognised at international level this term, with a place in Gareth Southgate’s England Under 21 squad, and two goals to add to his league and cup haul.
It is his contributions at club level – helping to fire Burnley to a 10-point lead in the automatic promotion places with 10 games to go – that have particularly caught the eye, however.
But after claiming the top prize, Ings praised a team effort, and the impact of manager Sean Dyche.
“He is a great manager. He is firm but fair and as long as you buy in to what he buys in to then you’re definitely going to get along,” said the 21-year-old “That comes down to hard work and all of our players are hard-working. Mix that with talent and you’ve got a powerful force.
“Sam Vokes, my strike partner, has chipped in with a lot of goals too for a target man and our defence is one of the best defences in the league, our midfield too, the whole team has been fantastic.
“I could talk about them all night. We have such a good team ethic and we work hard for each other which is why we have been successful.”
Ings is currently sidelined with an ankle injury, which he sustained in a challenge during last week’s 3-3 draw at Birmingham.
It meant he missed only his second game of the season, after an ankle knock against Huddersfield meant he sat out the visit of Watford in December.
Ings is likely to be ruled out for at least the rest of the month, although further medical checks this week should confirm the length of recovery required.
But, despite the setback, the striker is pleased with how he has responded to two injury-ravaged campaigns after making the move from Bournemouth in August 2011.
“I’ve not had much luck in the last couple of years with injuries but I’ve managed to turn that around this year to get myself fit and everything is going well so far,” he added.
“To be honest it has been crazy.”
Elsewhere on the night, former Burnley midfielder Kevin McDonald, now with Wolves, missed out to Brentford’s Adam Forshaw on the League One prize.
But former Accrington Stanley winger Gary Roberts, now with Chesterfield, took home the League Two award.