Ashley Barnes was delighted to get one back at his team-mates after launching the Clarets’ campaign in sensational style.
Barnes had been getting some stick for failing to find the target in pre-season, while striking colleagues Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez were scoring goals for fun.
But when the real thing started, Barnes was back with a bang with the first two goals in Burnley’s emphatic 3-0 win opening-day win over Southampton at Turf Moor.
“It’s a massive boost. I hadn’t scored throughout pre-season – not one goal – so the boys have been pulling my leg and saying I don’t even score in training,” he joked.
“I’ve proved them wrong today when it counts, so it was obviously a nice feeling.
“The manager could have left me out because I haven’t scored a goal. But I think he knows what he gets from me and he showed faith in me.
“It was a great team performance. They were difficult conditions out there, but we ground it out.
“The first goal we got a bit luck, when the defender slipped and we got in, but I still had to finish and luckily enough I’ve seen it hit the back of the net.
“The second one (from Erik Pieters) was right on a plate and I just needed to finish it.”
Barnes got the nod from boss Sean Dyche to continue his prolific partnership with Chris Wood as new signing Jay Rodriguez started on the bench against his former club.
The move paid off with Barnes again putting Southampton to the sword – taking his Premier League goal tally against the Saints to five – before Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored a top-class third to complete the Clarets’ biggest opening-day win since 1966.
Barnes also benefitted from two assists from new signing Pieters on his debut and the striker is impressed with the squad depth at Dyche’s disposal.
“It’s very strong when you see the lads that missed out today,” he told Clarets Player HD.
“We’ve got Robbie injured and Drinky and Chaz to come in.
“We’ve got a big squad and it’s a fight for places now. We’ll all be needed at some point and we’re all in this together.
“We’ve said we need to get off to a good start and get as many wins as possible before Christmas and who knows where it can take you again?”