BARNES GLAD TO BE BACK IN THE GROOVE
Striker hopes for big season after over-coming injury setbacks
REACTION | Barnes Heading In Right Direction
Ashley Barnes is ready to make his mark again as he looks for a change of luck on the injury front.
The striker’s Clarets’ career has been disrupted for the past two seasons by injury issues.
Barnes – who is second only to Chris Wood in Burnley’sall-time Premier League scoring stakes – missed the second half of the 2019/20 campaign with a hernia problem and then suffered a thigh injury which kept out for much of the run-in last season as Sean Dyche’s side secured the top-flight status.
But the 31-year-old did make it back for a handful of substitute appearances in the final month of the campaign and returned for pre-season last month in top shape.
And after following up a training-ground goal against Morecambe with a flying header to launch Burnley’s successful comeback in a warm-up win at Tranmere on Saturday, Barnes hopes he can make a bigger contribution this time around.
“I want to play a big part of the season. I want to be fit for every game,” he told Clarets Plus.
“Injuries are such a frustrating part of your career.
“Touch wood, now I’m all clear and raring to go.”
With Matej Vydra playing his first minutes since the Euro finals in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Prenton Park and Chris Wood on his way back from the Olympics, the Clarets’ strikeforce will hopefully all be fit and firing for the start of the Premier League season.
And that’s what Barnes has his sights on with former club Brighton first up at Turf Moor in just under a fortnight's time.
“Hopefully he (Wood) can get back and start flying again at the start of the season and likewise for everyone here. That’s all you want to do, get sharper and get fitter ready to go for the Brighton game,” said Barnes, who missed an early chance at Tranmere before superbly converting a Dwight McNeil cross.
“We were still a bit sloppy in our finishing – me, personally – but this is what we’re here for, to get fit and get sharp ready for the season," the frontman added.
“I feel like I’m getting sharper and more up to speed now and that’s what these games are for.
“It’s annoying if you miss but you’ve got to be in the right places to get the chances and luckily enough I did that.
“Dwight floated it in lovely and I just jumped to get my head to it.”
Sat, Oct 2, 2021