Burnley boss Sean Dyche always knew his strikers would start firing

PA

Sean Dyche has always had faith his frontmen would rediscover their scoring touch as Burnley twice came from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 for their third successive victory.

Burnley went into the fixture as the Premier League’s joint-lowest scorers but there were signs they had turned a corner as Ashley Barnes won and then converted a penalty to give the Clarets a surprise victory at Liverpool last week.

Jay Rodriguez then bagged a brace as a largely second-string outfit beat Fulham 3-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday while Chris Wood was Burnley’s hero on Wednesday night, capping an amazing turnaround with a 79th-minute winner to stun Villa.

Dyche said: “I’ve always believed the centre forwards will score goals. I thought Woody was excellent in the second half and his goal was fantastic, Jay Rod got a couple at the weekend, Barnesy scored last Thursday.

“If we can do the diligent things often enough, these guys who have done a good job for us statistically over the years will score again, and I’m pleased to see they are scoring again.

“We’re beginning to find that balance again which we’ve found many times but we have to continue to work hard at it.”

Burnley fell behind to Ollie Watkins’ deft finish inside the first quarter of an hour and were under the cosh for much of the first half, with Ross Barkley hitting the bar and Nick Pope called upon to make several fine saves.

Asked if there was a better goalkeeper in the top-flight than the England number two, Dyche said: “I’m going to say no because I’m his manager and I place great value in him.

“He continues to improve in my opinion. He’s in very good form, that’s for sure.”

Ben Mee equalised in the 52nd minute and although the influential Jack Grealish restored Villa’s lead midway through the second half, the visitors were left shell-shocked as Burnley scored twice in three minutes.

There was some fortune to Dwight McNeil levelling again with a cross-cum-shot that trickled in at the back post in the 76th minute before the winger teed up Wood to head home the winner moments later.

Dyche, who revealed Josh Brownhill was withdrawn at half-time after a blow to the foot, said: “The good thing about working with a group of people for a long time is you begin to trust more and more what they’re about.

“I had total trust at half-time to just remind them of some of the basics, remind them of the way we work, remind them of the details of the performance and in the second half it paid us back.”

Villa head coach Dean Smith admitted he was in “disbelief” that his side had “just thrown three points away” on Wednesday night, and Watkins agreed with his boss’ assessment.

He said on the club’s official website: “Obviously it’s tough to lose. We should have seen it out.”

Watkins scored for the first time since early November in the weekend win over Newcastle and his inventive finish, flicking beyond Pope with the outside of his right boot from a low cross, gave him two goals in two matches.

He added: “Going a few games without a goal, it played on my mind. It’s nice to be back on the scoresheet but it’s a shame it couldn’t go towards three points.”

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