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Hero Barnes Is Happy To Help

Squad strength pays off again as Barnes strikes late winner

12 December 2017

Ashley Barnes was delighted to deliver a ‘helping hand’ as he fired the Clarets into the Premier League’s top four.

Barnes came off the bench to rifle home the late goal that gave Burnley a dramatic 1-0 win over Stoke City at a rain-lashed Turf Moor.

It was the striker’s 13th appearance as a substitute in the Clarets’ opening 17 league games.

But once he again underlined the collective will of Sean Dyche’s squad to keep delivering the goods as his second goal of the season and an eighth clean sheet in the Premier League – wrapped up by a re-shuffled back four including top-flight debutant Charlie Taylor – made it four wins out of five and nine in all this season.

“Amazing isn’t it? That’s what you work hard for on the training ground and luckily enough it paid off,” said Barnes.

“It’s frustrating when you’re not starting but the lads have been tremendous.

“It’s a squad game and if I can help the team out in any way then times like that tonight it makes me happy.

“That’s what we’re waiting in the wings for. When your chance comes you’ve got to go out and perform and it’s been tremendous from all the boys.

“Scott stepped up at the weekend, Chas today with Wardy unfortunately going down, Longy coming in and at the weekend it will be interesting with the lads coming back as well.”

Burnley go to Brighton – Barnes’ former club – on Saturday and by then might have been knocked out of the Champions League slots by teams playing on Wednesday night.

But there’s no denying the remarkable progress being made by Sean Dyche’s side, which ground out another priceless win in appalling conditions.

“It was a terrible night,” added Barnes. “It wasn’t the most thrilling of games but the weather played its part and luckily enough we came out on top.

“We cancelled each other out and with the conditions it was difficult but luckily enough I have come up with the goods at the end.

“The celebrations from the fans to the lads were tremendous.

“It’s amazing. We’ll go and enjoy it tonight and then we get back on the training field and work hard.

“As long as we can keep getting these points ticked off.

“Our aim was to get more points than last year and stay in the division and then you never know where it can take us if we keep performing like this.”

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