Burnley midfielder Bartley’s reward

PATIENT: Midfielder Marvin Bartley

PATIENT: Midfielder Marvin Bartley

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MIDFIELDER Marvin Bartley is delighted his patience has been rewarded with a run of games, but he isn’t resting on his laurels.

The 26-year-old has started only eight games all season - five of those coming in the last six games.

He has endured a frustrating campaign under both his former boss at Bournemouth Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche, with Chris McCann, Dean Marney and Brian Stock often preferred.

The combative midfielder started the season playing catch-up having been in a protective boot with an ankle injury that dogged him at the back end of last term, though he was on the bench for the first league game against Bolton at Turf Moor.

However, Marney’s calf injury has allowed Bartley a recent run in the side, with the 26-year-old starting five out of the last six games.

Burnley have won only once in that time - at Charlton - and conversely only lost once, at home to Hull, as the Clarets, still as high as 13th, have slipped to within four points of the bottom three.

And Bartley hopes to retain his place and help the side climb the table in the remaining six games: “The gaffer has a good squad and good players, especially in my position.

“I have had to be patient and now my chance is here I just aim to perform every game.

“Each time the manager picks me I just give 100% and hope that that shows up on the pitch.”

Having seen wins turn into draws deep in injury time in two of the last three games, Bartley feels Burnley are due some fortune in the run-in, with bottom side Bristol City next up for the Clarets at Turf Moor tomorrow.

Blackburn salvaged a point with a 95th-minute equaliser from David Dunn at Ewood Park, and though the boot was on the other foot when Sam Vokes earned a 3-3 draw at Watford on Good Friday in injury time, Nottingham Forest denied Burnley a welcome win on Easter Monday with the last kick of the game, a Lewis McGugan penalty.

Bartley looked back: “Points have been taken away from us in the dying minutes and I, for one, feel unlucky.

“But I’m not going to dwell on it.

“You have to take the positive side of things and we just need to push on against Bristol City and try to get the three points.”

Dyche has been pleased with the response of the squad to recent injuries, and said: “We’ve had to make changes recently with the number of injuries, but we feel we’ve now managed to see all of the group.

“Virtually every player has had a chance to play now.

“Although we’ve still used the least amount of players in the Championship, we feel we’ve got a handle on what everyone can give us.”

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