Sean Dyche has confirmed that striker Danny Ings is likely to leave Burnley Football Club this summer.
And in Saturday’s edition of ‘Turf’, the official matchday magazine, we carried an extensive interview with Danny on what appears to have been his Turf Moor farewell.
The following interview is featured in full below.…
When Danny Ings hit the net last Saturday against Hull City, it evoked an explosion of raw emotion.
It was a goal that meant so much to the England U21 striker, in a campaign that at times has often offered up a lot of frustration.
In a moment that briefly delayed feelings of resignation amongst a vociferous away end, the striker’s first instinct was to go and celebrate with the fans that have given him so much since he joined the club as an eighteen year-old boy.
The strike was not the decisive one everyone had hoped, but the intense and passionate expression he wore told the story of how much he cares for Burnley Football Club, as he explains with a heavy heart while he sits at Gawthorpe reflecting on relegation.
“It was emotional for me and all the lads. From the promotion to this season, they’ve been unbelievable and I was gutted for everyone connected to the football club on Saturday.
“My first instinct when I scored was to run over to the fans because we win games together, we lose games together and we score goals together.
“It’s important that the travelling fans who pay their hard-earned cash to come and support us were part of that goal as we were all hoping it would prove to be significant in keeping us in the league.
“It was unfortunate that we ended up going down despite the win but you could see by the expression on my face how much it meant and how much this football club means to me.
“I came here as an eighteen year-old boy and the first two years were extremely tough for me with injuries.
“I spent a lot of time in the gym and not only was I away from my friends and my family, I didn’t really have anyone up here apart from teammates.
“The lads and everyone at the club helped me settle well during one of the toughest times in my football career.
“Since then every year, I’ve grown more and more into a man and I can’t thank Burnley Football Club for everything they’ve done for me.
“I’ve got my disability project in the town and that will carry on throughout my career because to make a difference to those who haven’t had the chances I’ve had, in a town that has helped me so much, will always be something close to my heart.”
Ings’ future at Turf Moor remains uncertain.
He is out of contract in the summer and the intense race amongst the country’s elite to secure the signature of one of England’s brightest prospects is one that has been well documented.
The Clarets striker became the first player at the club to reach double figures in the top-flight since Ray Hankin and Peter Noble in 1975/76 with his goal at the KC Stadium.
And while there have been suggestions to the contrary, he insists he has always remained solely focused on helping the club stay in the Barclays Premier League in spite of the constant speculation.
Ings said: “I completely understand where some people are coming from when a little bit of form drops and the confidence dips a little bit.
“They’re expected to get on your back sometimes because they want you to do better for the club they love and for the team.
“Not for one minute of this season though have I not been committed to performing for this football club, regardless of my contract situation which is well documented.
“Everyone who knows me personally and people around the club knows that I give 100% for the team and for the fans.
“I had to turn my Twitter notifications off for a while as I got a small minority of people sending me some abusive tweets.
“That did upset me a little bit because of everything this club means to me and what we’ve been through together.
“But at the same time I understand and I appreciate the fans frustration. It was always going to be tough in this league and the lads have been good.
“Some of the football we’ve played this year has been fantastic in my opinion and for the fans who’ve travelled in numbers it really helped us and I can only thank them for that.
“Hopefully with the way we’ve gone about our business they’ve been proud of us, despite the fact we fell short in the end.”
Ings' dedication to things on the pitch is reflected in his actions off it. This season saw the launch of his self-funded disability project in Burnley, where he continues to put smiles on children’s faces.
Equally, his unquenchable desire to help out local girl with a life-threatening illness to tick items off her bucket list is testament to the type of person he is.
He sets himself standards that often, by his own admission, are too high, due to a vehement longing to reach the very top – something no doubt enhanced by the fact he suffered setbacks early on in footballing life.
“I only ever get frustrated when I’m not reaching the standards that I give myself and sometimes they’re too high. The gaffer says that a lot to me,” he added.
“All the frustration that the fans have seen have been where I’ve been snatching at things in front of goal, but that’s football and I’ve still been finding my feet in the Premier League.
“I’ve managed to hit double figures for the season now and there are still two more games to go so I’m hoping to score more, of course.
“What I will say is that you don’t do that without fantastic team-mates who can create for you and I’m indebted to them because I’m just a cog in the wheel of the unit we have here.
“The record of being the first player to reach double figures since 1976 is great for me on a personal note because all I want to do is become a better player every day.
“When I hit milestones like that it gives me extreme confidence and I hit a few last year which was a fantastic year for me and the team. Unfortunately this year it wasn’t to be.”
The Clarets have bowed out the Premier League gracefully - and Ings is as well placed as anyone to see the progress the club has made since he arrived fresh-faced back in 2010.
And he firmly believes that with or without his goalscoring services, boss Sean Dyche can lead the club straight back to the top table - and hopes that the season ends on a high as a reward for the supporters unwavering faith in the team.
“It would be great to finish with momentum and everyone knows that the gaffer is not going to let us down tools now just because we’ve gone down.
“Our future is settled so it’s important that we go into both of the last games confident and give the fans two great performances.
“I’d like as many fans as possible to come down to both games because it’s been an incredible two years for the club.
“We’ve had some great moments this year and instead of ending the season on a bad note, it’s important we finish strongly
for each other and the support.
“As soon as the gaffer came in the mentality changed and he got the club all pulling in one direction, and he doesn’t allow any bad eggs in the dressing room.
“There are all the plans in place for the new training ground and the infrastructure of the club has improved massively so it’s in a great place to bounce straight back.”