Burnley winger Kightly flying high after run in side

Good form: On loan winger Michael Kightly in action in the 3-0 win over Charlton
Good form: On loan winger Michael Kightly in action in the 3-0 win over Charlton

Sean Dyche believes Burnley are starting to see the best of winger Michael Kightly.

Kightly arrived on transfer deadline day on loan from Stoke City for the rest of the season.

He made his debut in the derby against Blackburn, and has made six starts and one substitute appearance, contributing assists for Scott Arfield against Birmingham and Sam Vokes at Leeds.

But his energy and pressing have been big assets for the side as well, and Dyche feels he is benefiting from regular football.

He completed the 90 minutes against Reading last Saturday - the first time he had done so since October 27th last year for Stoke against Sunderland.

And Dyche said: “My job is to see through and look beyond each individual moment. We knew Kights wasn’t 100% fit as he hadn’t been playing regular first team football - and that has a different mentality and physicality.

“He was injury free, but he hadn’t played a lot of first team football.

“But he’s someone I value as a person and a player, I know what he can offer us and knew he could improve us.

“He knows how I work, you do the business, you play, you don’t, you don’t, simple.

“But he also knows I’m flexible in how I think and look after players.

“I said you won’t play every minute of every game because you’re not fit enough yet, the group are really fit, and he aligned with that, so we’ve gradually upped it, and he was excellent against Reading.

“He was in a position to go hard for 90 minutes, which he did.

“That is planned.

“I think he’s sharp, he’s had two assists already, which is what you want from wide players.

“He’s shown clear signs of the support and the play that he can give us.”

Kightly himself admits he is feeling stronger all the time: “I feel my fitness is getting better and better.

“I hadn’t played a competitive game for a while before coming here, so it takes six, seven or eight games to get back into it and I definitely feel fitter.

“Hopefully there’s a lot more to come from me.

“The pull was to come here and play under this gaffer, who is arguably one of the best gaffers that I’ve played under.”

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