"He finds a way of scoring goals, and coaches and managers marvel at that" - Burnley boss Sean Dyche on hat-trick hero Chris Wood

Sean Dyche still feels there is growth in Chris Wood, after the striker joined an elite group.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 7:00 am
Chris Wood

Wood, who joined Burnley for a club record £15m from Leeds United in the summer of 2017, has hit double figures in the Premier League in all four seasons with the Clarets.

In the league, the New Zealand international has netted 10 (11 in all competitions), 10 (13), 14 and 10, so far this term.

His hat-trick at Wolves took him to 10, and entry to a group of strikers who have hit at least 10 Premier League goals for the last four seasons - alongside Spurs' Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Jamie Vardy of Leicester and Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal.

It is a show of remarkable consistency from Wood, who had only previously played eight games at this level with West Brom and Leicester, before joining Burnley.

Dyche knew he was the man to lead his attack in 2017, as Andre Gray departed for Watford for £18m that summer, feeling his ability to sniff out chances and score all different types of goals - having been top-scorer in the Championship with Leeds with 27 in 2016/17 - would be a huge asset.

Dyche said: "Striker is the hardest role on the pitch, I used to be a centre half and I made sure it was difficult for them, trust me!

"I've never really over-questioned centre forwards because of the respect I have for the position.

"Woody is still improving his hold up play and some of the simpler things - not simple, important but simple things - keeping the ball for the team...

"But he finds a way of scoring goals, and coaches and managers marvel at that."

Wood had only scored four goals by the end of January, when he suffered a hamstring problem at Chelsea which saw him miss six games.

He has roared back with six goals in his last six games, and Dyche admitted: "I've never lost faith in Woody, everyone knows that, he's on my teamsheet a hell of a lot.

"I was pleased with the decision to play two strikers again, we operated really well at Manchester United, and it could have been good enough to have left it alone, because we created chances.

"But you never quite know until they go out and perform, and they certainly did.

"Vyds (Matej Vydra) was good again, he was effective, we've got (Ashley) Barnesy coming back, Jay Rod (Rodriguez) came on and put a real shift in just to make sure the game was seen through, and his press leads to the fourth.

"We have a collective atmosphere and spirit, add the quality we have, and we can be competitive, we know that."