DEADLY DUO FIRE DYCHE’S HOPES
BURNLEY fans may have feared the worst when last season’s hot-shot striker Charlie Austin left for Queen’s Park Rangers in the summer, but they need not worry because Sean Dyche seems to have found the perfect solution.
The new strike partnership of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes looks to have gelled instantly and both were on the scoresheet in theirvictory at Sheffield Wednesday to make it two wins and a draw from their opening three games.
Both goals came in the first half as Burnley were much the better side, but stout defending and some superb goalkeeping from youngster Tom Heaton meant the visitors weathered Wednesday’s second half storm.
And after rebuilding his attack, manager Dyche admitted he was relishing the new era.
He said:“I am pleased for Sam that he got his goal.We are trying to get out of him what he can be and young Danny is learning his trade and working hard.
“He looks fit and sharp and his movement around the box is excellent. He has a thirst to improve, the potential is there. He’s a young man and he’s enjoying his trade.
“I was pleased with the performance in patches, particularly in the first half.We knew Wednesday would throw everything at us in the second half and that we had to stand strong but I thought the game changed when we didn’t get a penalty for handball. It was an unbelievable decision not to give it and had we scored that we would have gone on to comfortably win the game.
“But by not giving the penalty, it changed the feel of the game and Wednesday had a sigh of relief and came back at us even stronger and we had to deal with that, which we did.”
The Clarets should have been ahead inside 20 minutes. Vokes reacted the quickest to Dean Marney’s deflected effort but Owls keeper Chris Kirkland produced a superb save from close range.
New signing Jacques Maghoma should have opened his account when he met Michail Antonio’s right-wing cross but he got his timings all wrong and somehow shinned the ball wide. And midway through the half, leftback Danny Lafferty had his heart in his mouth when he came within inches of turning Maghoma’s cross into his own net. But two goals in the space of five minutes turned the tide deservedly in the visitors’ favour. Wallace delivered a perfect cross from the right for Ings to head home on 33 minutes. And not long after it was 2-0 when full-back Kieran Trippier was afforded too much time to pick out his man, this time Vokes, who again rose the highest to head his side further ahead at the break.
The Owls came out all guns blazing after the break and strik- er Atdhe Nuhiu came within inches of making it two goals in two games when he headed Maghoma’s cross just wide.
They didn’t have to wait much longer as David Prutton narrowed the deficit with the game’s third headed goal but the defeat condemns the Owls to their worst start to a league season since 2007. Manager Dave Jones said: “It’s just so frustrating because we are at full stretch because of injuries. We have four or five experienced first team players out of the team and we just have to suffer that until those players come back.
“There’s nothing I can do about that, I cannot bring any players in until I move players out so we just have to dig in and get through it. There’s no panic, certain people will panic but this period will only benefit us and make us stronger. The young lads that have come in will only benefit from their experience in the team.
“We started well and did ok but then there was a bit of a lull in our play and they capitalised.”
HUGS ALL ROUND: Sam Vokes celebrates giving Burnley a 2-0 lead. Inset: Vokes scores over Chris Kirkland