DANNY Ings is aiming to be fit and firing for Burnley when the new Premier League season kicks off.
The England Under 21 striker was dismissive of speculation linking him with a move away from Turf Moor, but insisted he is ready to start the season with the Clarets.
Ings said: “I’m in better shape going into this year so hopefully I can become even stronger ready for the start of the season, because we’re playing better players this year so I need to improve.”
Last week Ings was reported to be the subject of a “formal enquiry” from Southampton, although that was denied by the club, but Ings is determined to distance himself from speculation.
“I just stay away from all of that,” he said. “I don’t find it hard to deal with, I just ignore it.
“There’s speculation all the time, but I’m contracted to Burnley and I’m just concentrating on my football.”
And the forward, who has enlisted the help of fitness personal trainer Jamie Kennedy, who runs Burnley-based centre ‘The FX Fitness Experience’, during the summer believes he will return to Gawthorpe tomorrow ready for the top-flight.
“Personally I didn’t come back as fit as I wanted to for last pre-season but I was transformed during pre-season and by the start of the season I was in the best shape of my life,” said the 21-year-old.
“During the season you get niggles here and there, I had a couple of ankle injuries, but I was in the best shape of my life last year.”
Ings top scored with 26 goals last season as the Clarets clinched automatic promotion as runners up and he admits he is on countdown to the season opener against Chelsea.
“I’d just come back from my holiday when the fixtures came out. Those first few games are going to be crazy,” he said. “But it’s exciting and a challenge that I’m looking forward to.”
And the former Bournemouth man hopes his extra summer work pays off.
“I’ve been training at the FX with Jamie in Burnley,” said Ings of the family owned fitness firm.
“He does the same stuff as we do at Burnley – squats, split squats, lunges, running. I’ve just started Pilates as well with his mum. That’s going to be a regular thing.
“Everything is geared towards making me stronger all round, and it’s working, I’m feeling the benefits of it.
He added: “The game’s improved and it’s all about fitness.
“Every year teams are coming back fitter and fitter so you’ve got to make sure you stay in shape even when you’re off.”