SEAN Dyche declared himself “enthused” in the aftermath of Burnley’s latest away win, and in doing so marked himself out as a master of understatement.
This has been a great week for the club; a new signing, a sixth away win of the campaign and a continued presence in the automatic promotion slots.
The protracted pursuit of Brighton’s Ashley Barnes finally reached its conclusion last Wednesday. Barnes doesn’t come with a reputation for being a goal-machine, but then neither did Sam Vokes until the Ginger Mourinho got to work on him. Besides, there’s much more to being a centre-forward than goals.
Dyche described the latest addition as “robust and hard-working”, which in old money means he puts himself about a bit.
Whatever his qualities, it’s good to know that the most lethal striking partnership in the Championship now has back-up and competition.
One pleasing aspect of welcoming a new player into the fold is that it means others have to be on their toes to hold down a starting position. You wonder if that notion was rattling around in the subconscious of Messrs Ings and Vokes at Huish Park.
Ings’ 21st strike of 2013/14 was a humdinger. Lashing one home from 25 yards is creditable enough in itself. But propelling the ball goalwards with such power using only a minimal back-lift speaks of superb technique and skill.
Vokes’ effort may have lacked the explosive punch of Ings’ howitzer, but was just as pleasing given the neat build-up play that led to its execution.
This latest victory on the road was significant for another reason. If you add together the ingredients; Burnley, dodgy pitch and away fixture against a team battling the drop, history suggests it doesn’t end well for the Clarets.
That Burnley were in control of such a game for all but the last few minutes says much for the mentality that Dyche has drilled into his charges.