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Danny Ings full of praise for Burnley boss Sean Dyche

21 March 2014

It is not hard to imagine that had Sean Dyche and Danny Ings ever faced each other on the football field there would have been one heck of a battle.

Dyche, the towering and powerful centre-half and Ings, the nippy forward with speed of thought and speed of foot - all of the ingredients would have been there for 90 minutes of intriguing action.

That never happened but the pair find themselves together at Burnley and plotting what they hope is a path towards automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship with Ings banging in the goals on the pitch and manager Dyche doing his work from the dugout and on the training ground.

Ings, crowned the Championship Player of the Year at the 2014 Football League Awards, is full of praise for the role Dyche has played in helping him become one of the deadliest hit-men in The Football League this season.

The 21-year-old said: "He [Dyche] is a great manager. He is firm but very fair and as long as you buy into what he buys into you are definitely going to get along with him.

"That comes down to hard work and all of our players are hard-working. Mix that with talent and it's a powerful force.

"He has played the game so he knows the environment very well and it shows because he gets on with all of the lads, even the lads who aren't playing. We have a bond at Burnley Football Club and it's great.

"We go out to warm-up and have a bit of banter, and when the training starts we're serious and everyone is at it."

But, knowing what sort of an opponent Dyche was in his playing days - he racked up more than 500 appearances in a career that saw him turn out for Chesterfield, Bristol City, Luton Town, Millwall, Watford and Northampton Town - Ings added with a smile and a laugh: "He definitely wouldn't be a player that I would have liked to come up against."

The front man has been a virtual ever-present for Dyche's Clarets this season on his way to breaking the 20-goal mark and he has only dropped out of the side recently due to an ankle injury.

His 34 appearances in 2013/14 have seen him come up against the very best that the Championship has to offer and he admitted that he faces a different challenge in each match.

"In the Championship there is a lot of talent, a lot of young lads and a lot of experienced lads.

"You come up against quick defenders, big defenders, intelligent defenders. It is a good test and it's good because it helps me improve as a player and gives me stuff to improve on in training every week."

One man who brings out the best in Ings is his strike partner Sam Vokes, with the pair proving to be a real handful for Championship defences all season.

They have - at the time of writing - 44 club goals between them in 2013/14 and have also scored at international level too, Ings for Enland's Under-21 team and Vokes for the senior Wales side.

They are the classic nine-10 combination with the shirt numbers to match - Vokes the six-foot-plus target man and Ings feeding off him.

"Sam is humble, he is big, and he is a nightmare for defenders that's for sure," Ings said.

"He is also a good friend of mine. I was in the youth team with his younger brother at Bournemouth and I got called up to the team when I was a schoolboy.

"This year he has really come out of the blocks and he has done so well for me, he has done so well for the team, and he deserves everything he gets too."

The combination of Ings and Vokes, allied to the unity at Turf Moor that Ings has referenced, plus the work of Dyche and his coaching staff, has put Burnley in a tremendous spot to go on and earn a place in the Premier League for next season.

Ings accepts that it is an exciting time for the Clarets and although their position may be commanding, he is taking nothing for granted.

"We're in a strong position but we don't look at the league table, we look at the next game and the players we're going to come up against. We think how we're going to break them down and how we're going to win the game.

"We take each game as it comes. We have only lost three games all season in the league and it just shows how serious we are, how composed we are in each game."

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