Work ethic is crucial in promotion run-in '“ Ward

Clarets defender Stephen Ward insists Burnley won't relax their work ethic as they look to claim promotion in the final nine games.

Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 6:00 am
Stephen Ward, second right, celebrates putting the Clarets in front at Huddersfield

Ward scored his second goal of the season to put Burnley ahead in their 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Their sixth-successive win, as Hull drew 1-1 at home to MK Dons, and Middlesbrough lost at Charlton on Sunday, saw Sean Dyche’s side extend their lead at the top of the Championship to seven points.

And Ward, who won the Championship title with Wolves in 2009 – as Burnley were promoted via the play-offs – says the Clarets will continue doing what has got them into this position: “The manager says all the time how we train and how we prepare ourselves is important.

“We train really hard, there’s a real work ethic at the club.

“The boys look strong, but we have a good squad and players are coming off the bench affecting games.

“It’s going to take that throughout the next nine games to get to where we want to go.

“We’ve got our aim of what we want to do this season and at the minute we’re working hard and striving towards that, but no-one’s looking too far ahead wondering what’s going to happen until that last day of the season, and then we’ll see where we are.

“We concentrate on ourselves. Every game is important.

“We want to keep performing the way we have been.

“It’s really pleasing tonight but we’ll come back in to training, we’ll work hard and get ourselves ready for the weekend and a tough game, as every game is in this league, next Saturday.”

Burnley are unbeaten in 14 league games, but the only thing that Ward is thinking of is preparing for the visit of Wolves: “It’s an old cliche that gets used throughout the season, but we have to take one game at a time.

“It’s really apparent in our dressing room that no-one gets carried away.

“We’re on a good run and we don’t want that run to end.

“We won’t look any further than next Saturday at Turf Moor.”

Ward was delighted to get his first league goal, after scoring the winner in the FA Cup third round at Middlesbrough, and he said: “It just fell to me and went in. I was up there to make myself a nuisance and thankfully I got some form of my foot on it and it went in so it was a good start for us.

“It was a great performance from the whole 11, and the lads coming on played a real part.

“Any away win in this league is really hard to come by.

“We’re really happy but it’s time to recover now and get ready for the next one.”

Burnley have only lost two points from winning positions all season, and never looked like losing their grip on the game at Huddersfield: “We wanted to make sure we started well and kept it up, and I thought we did in the first half. In the second half they had a real go – fair play to them, they came out and put us on the back foot for periods in the second half, but we defended well and it was nice to win. And we could have nicked one or two more in the second half as well.”