Improving and getting stronger

Burnley striker Danny Ings has found his form again since returning to action in October following a spell out with a hamstring injury. By Phil Medlicott.

Burnley striker Danny Ings feels he is going to score every time he takes to the pitch at the moment and has been backed by his team-mates to make a future breakthrough at senior level for England.

Ings’ early brace in the recent 2-1 English Premier League win at Stoke took his tally to three goals in his last four games for his club, and came nine days after he netted twice in a friendly for England under-21s.

Certainly the 22-year-old, the Clarets’ top-scorer in their 2013-14 promotion campaign, has found his form again since returning to action in October following a spell out with a hamstring injury.

And Ings said: “I’m enjoying my football and everyone knows that I’m at my best when I have a smile on my face. I’m going out and knowing I’m going to score goals and be a problem.

“I feel like I’m taking everything in my stride. I knew goals would not come as frequently as last year.

“I think I’m coping with the league well, and that my form, touches and all-round game are improving every week, and now I’m getting goals as well.

“The hamstring injury is probably the best thing that could have happened to me. My form since then has been a lot better. It’s clear to see I’m improving and getting stronger.”

While Ings making the step up to the England seniors is something he does not see happening just yet, he knows continuing to hit the back of the net is likely to put him in contention.

“I’m only young and there’s a long way to go for that sort of step,” Ings said.

“Obviously scoring goals for the under-21s is only one level down but I need to maintain my form for my club. As long as I keep scoring then who knows?”

Ings’ Burnley colleagues have every confidence that step will come for the front-man.

Winger Michael Kightly, the former Stoke man who set up Ings’ second goal at Stoke, said: “Danny is one of the best strikers I’ve played with. He is going to be a top player.

“It scares you what he can do so young. I think he’ll be playing for England one day.”

And Clarets defender Kieran Trippier said of his team-mate: “I think he can go all the way to the top. It is only a matter of time before he will be playing for England.”

Burnley’s victory at Stoke made it back-to-back victories — their first wins of the season — after the 1-0 defeat of Hull and they are now off the bottom of the table.

With Ings now back to his best and results improving, there is renewed optimism that Burnley can avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Keeping their star striker fit could be crucial if they are to achieve their aim but manager Sean Dyche is not surprised to see how well Ings has done since recovering from his injury.

“At the start of the season there was a lot of expectation on him and that is very hard for young players,” said Dyche.

“I said all along his injury would do him good in a strange kind of way, and he has come out of it looking nice and sharp and fresh.

“He’ll learn a load from what he is doing at the moment. I think he had already made a name for himself before this season, and it’s now about how far he can take his name forward.”

PA Sport