BURNLEY SHOW PREMIER CLASS
Ipswich’s play-off hopes die
SEAN Dyche believes the Turf Moor faithful were treated to a snippet of what they can expect next season in the Premier League as the class of 2014 wrote their names into the club’s record books against Ipswich.
Already-promoted Burnley hosted an Ipswich side who were searching for a victory to keep their play-off hopes alive.
But it was the side who had nothing to play for that came out on top, Michael Kightly’s third goal in as many games earning Burnley a narrow victory.
It moved the Clarets on to 92 points – the first time they have gone beyond 90 points for a single season – and Burnley boss Dyche believes his players deserve credit for keeping their wits about them after their promotion party.
“I am absolutely delighted,” he said. “I spoke before the game and felt it was very important to go about our business in the correct manner and I never doubted that.
“I believe in the way the players work. If you do it right all of the time then you don’t need to flick that switch and turn it on.
“It was fair to say we could have had another couple (of goals). Mick McCarthy has been down this road before and is wise enough that a team may not quite retain that edge but I was pleased with our focus – it was important to show what we have been about all season.
“Tremendous credit goes to our group as it is difficult with all that is going on. The focus on the game was absolutely spot on.
“That is a good thing because there are some of this group that will be competing in the division next year where there will be a lot of stuff going round and different protocols – maybe it was a tiny taster of that here.”
Burnley began brightly but it was Ipswich who had the best chance of a cagey opening, centre-back Tommy Smith’s header superbly cleared off the line by Kieran Trippier.
That sparked the hosts into life and just before half-time Danny Ings dazzled with several stepovers before firing agonis- ingly into the side-netting. However, ten minutes into the second half Burnley were ahead, Kightly tapping in after Ings’ shot had been saved by Dean Gerken for his second goal of the week.
Shortly after, Ings came close to doubling the Clarets’ lead but his 25-yard half-volley flew inches wide.
Ings then came even closer to a goal when he crashed a shot against the bar following a Dean Marney cross.
Tom Heaton was a spectator for most of the second half but with ten minutes left he clawed Paul Taylor’s fine free-kick out of the top corner to secure the historic win.
As for Ipswich, their hopes of the play-offs are now over but boss Mick McCarthy was not about to sit and sulk, instead extending his best wishes to Burnley in their Premier League adventure – in particular one of his former Wolves charges Kightly. He said: “Our performance was very good, up until conceding the goal.
“They started well but we grew into the game and got better. We were on top when we conceded but we missed that one tackle and it changes the course of the game.
“Without doubt, Burnley are outstandingly good value. They have deserved it, well done to them and they should enjoy it and not listen to the doom and gloom.
“Kightly is a good player and if he hadn’t been injured as he was at Wolves, he would have been a top player at a top team throughout so I am delighted for him that he’s back playing at that level because he is a great kid.
“But I was really pleased with my team. You win a game with really good team effort and we had that but they got a bit of good fortune in terms of missing the tackle.”
BRING ON THE BIG BOYS: Burnley celebrate winning promotion to the Premier League
HIGH AS A KIGHT: Burnley’s Michael Kightly, left, is all smiles with Scott Arfield after opening the scoring
STAR MAN KIERAN TRIPPI