Burnley forward Wood knows goals will come as he hails strike partner Barnes

Barnes has scored four goals in Burnley’s first four Premier League games.

By Press Association Published: 13 September 2019 - 10.25am

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Chris Wood is happy for Ashley Barnes to be taking the plaudits but is confident of joining him in the goal-scoring charts soon.

Barnes has been one of the most talked-about players during the early weeks of the season after scoring four goals in as many games.

It was his strike partner Wood who was prolific in pre-season but the roles have been reversed since the resumption of the Premier League, with Wood still searching for his first.

But there is no panic from the New Zealander, who said: “Keeping that consistency is the main thing because it will come and it will drop to you. Your record as a striker speaks for itself.

“You can score in this league and all our strikers know that, it’s just about when it does come, you have to be ready to put it in the back of the net. I’m not worried about it. We’re playing good as a team, playing good as a strike partnership so I can’t be too down about it because I’m ready.

“Five years ago you’d get more worried about it but, for me, as long as the team’s creating chances, the goals will come. The stats are telling us the team’s creating a lot more chances than in previous seasons.

“It’s dropping to Barnesy at the moment and he’s finishing them fantastically so we can’t argue with that.”

Barnes and Wood are likely to team up again when Burnley head to Brighton on Saturday.

The pair’s partnership began on the south coast in the 2010/11 season when Barnes was an Albion player and Wood joined the side on loan from West Brom.

Their goals helped Brighton earn promotion from League One, and they were reunited when Sean Dyche signed Wood from Leeds two years ago.

“Weirdly it just clicked,” said Wood of the partnership. “It worked well with him and Glenn Murray down there (in Brigton) and then we brought it back up here. That we’re playing in the Premier League is fantastic. We had dreams of being where we are and it’s nice that we’ve both achieved that.

“He should be getting the attention because he is playing fantastically and scoring goals. He’s up the top of the goalscoring charts for a reason because he’s done fantastically well. He deserves the plaudits.”

Dyche also has summer signing Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra as attacking options but praised Wood’s form despite his lack of goals.

“I’ve been enjoying his performances in general,” said the Clarets boss. “I’ve certainly been enjoying his performances to try and score a goal, because there’s no lack of will or effort. I’ve enjoyed the relationship with Barnesy.

“We have changed more than people think, particularly last year and the year before playing with a third midfield player, but I do historically like playing with two strikers and particularly if I’ve got two strikers playing well.”

Burnley will hope to kick on over the next few games after beginning the season with victory over Southampton followed by defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool and a draw with Wolves.

Barnes has fought off a minor groin niggle while wingers Robbie Brady (rib) and Dwight McNeil (hamstring) are fit but Johann Berg Gudmundsson is a major doubt.

Midfielder Danny Drinkwater will be unable to stake his claim for a place in the side for several weeks after suffering an ankle injury in a fracas outside a nightclub.