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Relieved Barnes Relishing the Battle

17 November 2016

Ashley Barnes says he’s ready and raring to go after ending his long wait for a goal.

But the striker knows he faces a battle to earn a starting spot as the Clarets look to build on their three-match unbeaten run at West Bromwich Albion next Monday night.

Barnes is right back in the mix after coming off the bench to score Burnley’s dramatic late winner against Crystal Palace in their last game before the international break.

That was his first goal since scoring against West Brom in February 2015, before a knee injury and a hamstring problem sidelined the 27-year-old for lengthy spells.

And he is now bidding to build on that crucial strike when his next opportunity comes.  

Barnes said: “It was a relief, more than anything, to hit the back of the net and have that feeling back inside you.

“As strikers that’s what you want to do. It had been a long time coming.

“I’m ready. I am one of the lads again now ready for selection if and when the gaffer picks me.

Ashley Barnes scored against West Bromwich Albion at Turf Moor in the Clarets' last top-flight campaign

“Everyone wants to play. Everyone wants a starting shirt. But competition for places now is better than last time.

“You saw in the last game, I think that was the most attacking bench we’ve had.”

Barnes has made two substitute appearances since recovering from the injury he sustained in pre-season, when he ruptured a tendon attached to his hamstring.

And the former Brighton frontman has now added to manager Sean Dyche’s attacking options, alongside Sam Vokes, Andre Gray and Patrick Bamford.

Barnes added: “I'm feeling brilliant. I've had a long road to recovery. I managed to get back after the knee last year and unfortunately at the start of this season snapped my chrysalis.

“That was probably the worst. You get over the big hurdle of a long time being out.

“This one was short but I broke down a couple of times in training and you just think ‘when’s it going to stop?

“But hopefully it has done. I’m all good now and raring to go.”

The full interview with Ashley can be seen on Clarets Player now.

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