Striker Danny Ings believes the Clarets will take another huge step forward in the Premier League when the club’s striker’s union returns to full strength.
The 22-year-old, with four goals in his last eight outings, has partnered Lukas Jutkiewicz, Marvin Sordell and Ashley Barnes in his 13 league outings this term, though it’s the latter that’s been given the nod by boss Sean Dyche in recent weeks.
The former Brighton frontman was handed his first start of the campaign against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium after Ings suffered a hamstring strain in the stalemate against Crystal Palace in September.
Barnes dropped back down to the bench in subsequent fixtures versus West Ham and Everton at Turf Moor, but put himself back in the frame when netting the winner at home to Hull City.
After starting all five games since, and scoring his second of the campaign in victory over Southampton at the weekend, strike partner Ings said: “He’s been fantastic, same with all the other strikers I’ve played with. The gaffer has really built it into them for the work ethic and the lads have been buying into it and it is showing in our performances. We’re pressing from the front, creating more chances and we’re moving forward in the right way.”
That competition for places will soon be bolstered once more with the impending return of Sam Vokes. The Welshman came through his fourth appearance for the Development Squad unscathed as he pushes for a recall in to Dyche’s squad.
The 25-year-old shared 48 goals with England Under 21 Ings in the Championship last term before his season culminated prematurely against Leicester City on home soil.
With his return imminent, November’s Premier League player of the month nominee Ings said: “He’s a massive player, he was a huge player last year, a massive part of why we’re in this league so it will be great to have him back in the squad and up for selection.
“We’ve got some fantastic strikers at the club, a lot of good competition and it can only help us going forward.”
The Clarets face Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City before the New Year but Ings admits the Clarets will head in to that period without any fear after picking up three wins in six outings.
“Our performances all season have been extremely confident anyway,” he said. “Results didn’t come at the start but the lads are starting believe now and we believe in our own ability and realising we deserve to be in the league.
“We’re going into those games with good form and a lot of confidence. They’re the top end of the market so they’re going to be harder than the games we’ve had recently, but the pressure is all on them and nobody expects us to win so I think we can cause an upset.
“They are the games that you want to play in as a kid growing up and they’re just around the corner so it just shows how hard I’ve worked and how hard the team have worked to get in this position, so it’s important we enjoy it and go out there and play with smiles on our faces.
“It’s brilliant for my development as a player because I’m still young and I’m still learning. The better players that I play against the better I’m going to become.”
When questioned about recent links with Ajax and Sunderland, Ings added: “I don’t even read it. I just concentrate on my job and I’m still contracted to Burnley and that’s the main thing.”