Friday 22 September 2017

Dyche backs Ings to stay focused

Speculation over Danny Ings' future is certain to continue
Speculation over Danny Ings' future is certain to continue

Sean Dyche is confident Danny Ings will be in the right frame of mind for Sunday's meeting with West Brom despite ongoing speculation about his future.

The end of the January transfer window means Ings is certain to be at Burnley for the rest of the season but, with his contract due to run out in the summer, the subject is far from closed.

There have been suggestions Liverpool and Real Sociedad are both looking to secure Ings' signature on a pre-contract agreement, while the 22-year-old has also been linked with a number of other Premier League clubs.

Clarets boss Dyche revealed after last weekend's defeat by Sunderland that he considered leaving Ings out of the starting line-up because of the effect the speculation was having on him.

Dyche, who has made little secret of his frustration at the amount of attention focused on the future of his star striker, said: " I think that's the only game this season where it may have had an effect.

"Players can just have a quiet day, and I thought he had a quiet day, so it might have been nothing other than that. But, with all the media speculation during that little window, I felt it did affect him slightly.

"But I also said this week he'll have a good week's training, which he is doing, and he'll be ready to go.

"There are more players at this club than Danny. He's a wonderful talent, I enjoy working with him. He's a fantastic lad, I like him as a person and as a footballer, he's learning, he's improving; he'll be ready to go hard and the rest of it will take care of itself.

"I've been saying it for months. I'll be saying it next week, the week after. I get it, it's a topic, but he's here to enjoy his football and that's all I ever ask of him.

"The main thing is to play with a smile and, when he's like that, he plays well and we enjoy having him."

Unfortunately for Dyche and Burnley, Ings staying for the rest of the season was overshadowed by a failure to add to the squad on transfer deadline day.

Dyche had hoped to bring in a couple of new faces to boost Burnley's fight against relegation but could not complete any deals.

That left defender Michael Keane, who turned his loan move from Manchester United into a permanent deal, as Burnley's only bit of January business.

Criticism from some supporters has followed, but Dyche said: " It's a tough market.

"There were a couple of situations that were agreed and then went away, not from our point of view, from the other clubs.

"I always say, it takes parties to agree, it's not just money all the time. Money helps, of course, because that can open up a situation that maybe wouldn't open up unless you throw enough at it. But the numbers we're talking about are very large for a club like Burnley.

"I knew the realities going into the window. It's not a shocker to me personally.

"There's always an immediate reaction but I also know there's thousands of Burnley fans out there who get it."

There were more unwelcome headlines when a letter the club sent to agents was published in a national paper and presented as a desperate move.

"We've built a system," said Dyche.

"We've got a lot of eyes now on the road. We've been very active and that was just a little reminder because once the wheels start turning, and we all know agents are powerful in football now, one deal can lead to another, which opens up another.

"You have to make sure people are aware we are in the market and we are active, so if anything comes up late on, let us know. That's all it was."

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