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Sunday 17 December 2017

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Sean Dyche trusts that exploring his options for next season will not have any impact on Danny Ings' brilliant form for Burnley.

The 22-year-old reportedly held talks with Real Sociedad boss David Moyes in Spain last weekend as the race for his signature hots up.

Ings is out of contract in the summer and has also been linked with a host of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester United, while an England call-up has been mooted.

Dyche weighed into the debate on Sunday by voicing his opinion that Ings should stay in the Premier League and, although a new contract is on the table at Turf Moor, the Clarets boss appears resigned to losing his star asset.

But he expects Ings to continue the fine form he has shown up until now, with his ninth goal of the season in last week's 3-1 loss to Manchester United making him Burnley's record Premier League goalscorer.

Dyche, who joked Ings had brought him a donkey back from Spain as a souvenir, said: "It's just a reality of the business now. That's what the rules state. He's respectful of it.

"I've got no reason to doubt his thoughts about Burnley Football Club and what we're doing, you can tell that by his performances. He's been terrific all week in training so he certainly looks ready to play.

"He's known me a while so he knows he can trust me, and I think he trusts the people here. We're always very honest and open and I think he understands that."

Ings' goal was the highlight of a performance at Old Trafford that earned Burnley plenty of praise but no points.

It is becoming a slightly worrying trend for Dyche's side, who have picked up only one point from their last four Premier League games despite leading 2-0 on two occasions.

Results last week saw them slip back into the bottom three, a point from safety, but Dyche expects the rewards to come.

He said: "Over a season you think that (playing well) pays you back. There's no guarantee that it does. But if there's a future in your performances on a weekly basis, people are improving, then you want that to bring points your way.

"There's still a frustration with certain key moments in games and things that have happened where we know we could do better, and there's other games where we've done very well and still not got the result.

"I thought we were excellent at Man United last week, didn't get the win, so we know that needs to change of course. We're scoring more freely but we've got to make sure we find that balance."

Burnley face an extremely tough run of fixtures over the next couple of months and arguably the hardest comes on Saturday with a trip to league leaders Chelsea.

The pair met at Turf Moor on the first weekend of the season when Scott Arfield gave the hosts a shock lead before Chelsea turned on the style to win 3-1.

Dyche said: "At the beginning of the season I thought anyone who finishes above them must be some side and I still think that because they've got strength everywhere, they're showing that, and they just keep getting results whichever way they need to.

"We are a side that's learning and progressing but we're not like a non-league side going there. We've shown we're capable to compete at this level. We have that underdog spirit but also that freedom to play."

ends

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