Premier League’s form strike duo about more than goals, says Dyche

Ashley Barnes celebrates the winner with Ashley Westwood
Ashley Barnes celebrates the winner with Ashley Westwood

They are the form strike pair in the Premier League.


But Sean Dyche feels Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood are offering far more than their goal scoring exploits.

The duo have 11 goals between them in their last eight Premier League appearances, in which time the Clarets haven’t tasted defeat, enjoying their best unbeaten run in the top flight since 1966.

They have 16 in 17 starts together as a pair for Burnley, having hit 26 in 53 starts between them as they helped fire Brighton to promotion from League 1 in 2011.

Asked about the front two, whose goals downed Spurs at Turf Moor, Dyche said: "Excellent, but it's their team play, scoring goals is fantastic, but their energy, their desire, and that hardiness you need to be a centre forward, getting knocked around - that's an important part of it, and I think the team respect it.

"And they are definitely getting their rewards, scoring, and scoring regularly.”

The pair’s selfless work for the side in the channels, in behind the Spurs back three, caused problems for the visitors throughout, giving Belgian duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as uncomfortable an afternoon as they have had of late.

Dyche added: “That is an important role of a striker that not everyone sees, Harry Kane I think does that brilliantly.

“That endeavour and work for the team is a thing that sometimes goes under the radar when strikers are scoring, but the front two at the minute are working for the team.

“The two that are waiting (Peter Crouch and Matej Vydra) and the subs that came on activated the game and the whole mentality of the group and the players that are not in the side is what we have been known for.

“I think that is really strong again now and the respect they have for each other is enormous.

“That doesn’t win you a game but it gives you a chance if everyone’s nose is pointing in the right direction.”