Burnley's Chris Wood determined to come out on top of Trans-Tasman battle with Brighton's Aussie stopper Mat Ryan

Burnley's Chris Wood tries to find a way past Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk at Turf Moor
Burnley's Chris Wood tries to find a way past Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk at Turf Moor

Burnley striker Chris Wood would take a goal in any way, shape or form at the moment, but the New Zealander says it would be extra sweet if his first of the season was scored against Aussie stopper Mat Ryan.

Cricket, rugby union, rugby league and netball are the preeminent sporting rivalries between the two island nations, but those Trans-Tasman relations will be on show at the Amex Stadium as the Clarets take on Brighton.

Kiwi Wood, who is desperate to get off the mark in the Premier League this term after netting nine times in pre-season, came out on top in February when scoring in either half in Falmer during a 3-1 win for Sean Dyche's side.

The 27-year-old has scored four times in 17 appearances since, beating a Frenchman [Hugo Lloris], a Bosnian [Asmir Begovic] and a Philippino [Neil Etheridge] and Wood is hoping the Seagulls stopper, formerly of Club Brugge, Valencia and Genk, is next on the list.

When questioned about Ryan, he said: "That's true, I never really thought about it like that, but it would be fantastic.

"It would be fantastic to score a goal past any goalkeeper, but it would be a boost if he was on the other side.

"I only know him from playing against each other. I've never really sat down and had a conversation with him, but he seems like a good lad.

"If we were in New Zealand or Australia we'd probably hate each other, but over here the Aussies and Kiwis tend to stick together against you Poms. The Ashes was good for me anyway!"

Angus Gunn, Bernd Leno, Rui Patricio, Lee Burge and Adrian have all kept the former Leeds United striker out so far this season, but he knows that his luck will change and the goals will start to come soon.

Having scored 13 times in all competitions last term, he said: "I feel like I'm playing well. From the first game to the fourth I feel like I've gone from strength to strength.

"I'm getting better, I'm playing well, we're doing well as a team, so the goals will come and it's all about getting that first one. When it comes they'll fly in.

"It happened with Barnesy on the first day, he scored one and now he's got four. That's how it goes in this game and that's how it goes with strikers."

He added: “I’m not worried about it. We’re playing well as a team, playing well as a strike partnership, I can’t be too down about it.

“Five years ago, you would have reacted differently. You would have been more worried about why hasn’t it come and things like that. For me, as long as the team is creating chances, the goals will come.

“The team is creating a lot more chances this season than in previous seasons, so the ball will come. It’s just they’re dropping to Barnsey at this current time and he’s finishing them fantastically.”