Danny's Ingstinct helps Clarets to three points

Last updated : 11 January 2015 By Tony Scholes

He struck four minutes after a Charlie Austin penalty had cancelled out Scott Arfield's opener to take our points total to twenty points, a figure some pundits were suggesting not too long ago that we wouldn't reach all season.

Arfield; he's the player released by a Championship club a season and a half ago who was heading for League One or League Two before Sean Dyche stepped in. Yesterday, Dyche was comparing him to Alexis Sanchez in terms of the quality of his goal whilst Harry Redknapp was confirming that we hadn't signed Lionel Messi.

When I first started watching football I would go to the game, watch it, see the goals scored, and that would be it. Everything then would have to be confined to memory. Now, I can come home and watch each goal dissected time and time again via television, although outside of the Premier League I still, certainly for home games, only get the pictures from about the same angle as the one I see the match from.

Had I not had the opportunity to see our goals in this game again, I would never have realised just how good they were.

Not Alexis Sanchez, not Lionel Messi, but Scott Arfield with a brilliant goal

Sometimes it depends on where you sit, so for those huddled under their blankets in the Bob Lord, particularly those down at the cricket field end of that stand, it would have been a much better view of Arfield's goal than the one I was afforded from NU5 in the Longside Upper.

I'd no idea he'd nutmegged a couple of defenders, nor did I realise just how precise the finish was. It was marvellous stuff from Scott, just as was the work from Ings when he scored the winner. Forget Harry's ramblings about bad defending, this goal only came about because of the great control from Danny. He then shifted the ball away from Steven Caulker, avoided Richard Dunne before placing his shot past Rob Green and into the net. The benefits of television and this saturation coverage.

My real concern ahead of the game was complacency. Thankfully, not from the manager nor the players; I take that as read. The concern came from some of our fans. Because we'd got a point at the Etihad, because we'd got a point at St. James' Park, some would have you believe that it was just a matter of turning up for this one to get the three points.

Other Burnley fans were putting the fear of God into me, suggesting that if this game wasn't won then our chances of staying up would be bleak. It's beyond me sometimes. My thoughts were that this, like every other game we've played this season, would be difficult but not for one minute did I even consider that it fell into the 'must win' category.

It was the 10th January. My alcohol intake for 2015 was zero and I opted to keep it like that ahead of this game. Whatever this illness is that's been thrown at me, this was the third successive game I've been to when I've questioned whether I was really well enough to be there, and by the time this one was over I was sat there struggling to keep myself warm as the temperatures dropped and then, for good measure, dropped again.

That meant no trip to the Bridge, no pint, no pie & peas, just a sausage and bacon butty outside the ground before making my way in, just as the news filtered through that the team was the same as that which had played in the previous six league games; that's since Ben Mee returned for the injured Stephen Ward at QPR back in early December.

Michael Keane, playing for the first time since making his Turf Moor move a permanent one, received a warm reception but he will have noted the competition back on the bench with the welcome return of Michael Duff to the match day squad.

The conditions were awful. Apart from the pitch not looking too good at the moment, the real problems yesterday were caused by the wind. It was nowhere near as strong as it was in Newcastle on New Year's Day but whereas it doesn't seem to get into their stadium, we all know that it can cause real problems at Turf Moor.

There was a minute's silence ahead of the game, to enable us to remember all those connected with Burnley Football Club who have passed away during 2014. It was impeccably observed by all home fans and, I am delighted to say, the QPR fans who did not follow the poor behaviour shown by Sheffield Wednesday fans a year ago.

The names of the 80 plus people who have lost their lives were displayed on the big screen but I'm not sure how many people inside Turf Moor were able to read them. They were also named in the match day programme.

We saw during that minute's silence how difficult the conditions might be as the ball, having already been placed on the centre spot by referee Andre Marriner, rolled away in a gust of wind.

With Harry's car still making its way down the touchline, it was Burnley who got off to the better start. George Boyd, fast becoming a crowd favourite at Turf Moor, got in the first effort, but it was straight at former England goalkeeper Rob Green.

Soon after there was little Green could do when Arfield lit up the ground with the opener. It was just what we wanted and I bet Arfield himself was delighted to score having waited some time since his last goal in the season's opener against Chelsea.

Charlie Austin, and you knew he'd get involved sometime during the game, hit the post as QPR responded, but generally it was Burnley who continued to look the more likely and we were certainly good value for our lead.

An equaliser really hadn't looked on the cards, but with Austin around it's always a concern. With just over half an hour gone he won his side a penalty which he himself duly converted, much to the displeasure of those in the Jimmy Mac Lower.

Marney was the culprit, but it was very much a case of Austin making sure he was going to make contact with his leg and go down. I don't think Marriner had much choice but it really was a case of the QPR forward looking for it.

It could have got worse, but Tom Heaton kept us level with a good save from an Eduardo Vargas volley. This was the period when Redknapp suggested they were on top. It lasted just a few minutes and ended with Ings' winner.

Danny Ings scored a superb goal to win it for the Clarets

Ashley Barnes played the ball forward for his strike partner and I don't care what the visiting manager thought of the defending, this was quality from Ings. And it came nicely just a few minutes before half time to ensure we went in with a lead.

For much of the second half it was just a question as to whether we would add to our goal tally. That we didn't was due, at times, to us being wasteful, but on other occasions because of some poor luck, and once down to a poor decision.

Green made two good saves to deny Barnes and then Keane. Ings and Boyd might both have set the other one up and Ings' control for once let him down, a bad touch taking the ball away from him as he tried to go past Green.

Keane headed another chance just wide and Barnes did score only for him to be penalised when television pictures clearly show that the only foul committed was by Clint Hill on Barnes.

The game should have been put to bed, but at 2-1 there is always that concern.  QPR offered very little until stoppage time when Caulker's header was tipped over by Heaton. It was a good header but it was straight above Tom and it was just a routine save.

That was it, the points were ours and deservedly so, and now I regret leaving at the final whistle, thus missing the fun and games in the vicinity of the cricket field stand.

The QPR players, some of them at least, went to applaud their supporters and received some dogs abuse in return. Hill opted to respond, never a good idea, and of all people Joey Barton played peacemaker.

I laughed when I saw  the pictures later and Glenn Hoddle was getting involved. There's someone who could start an argument in an empty room. Maybe that's the role for the two days a week coach.

It hadn't been easy, and certainly the conditions didn't help, but we were by far the better side on the day and fully deserved the points which lifted us, albeit for just over two hours, to 16th in the table.

It's close down there; no doubt about that, but every point we can get moves us that bit nearer to where we'd like to be at the end of  the season. A return of 16 points from the last 11 games has helped, no doubt about that.

The manager remains positive, and why shouldn't he? The players remain positive too so I see no reason why I shouldn't. One thing for sure is this Burnley team, predicted by many to be all but relegated by Christmas, is going to give it a real go in trying to stay in the Premier League.

The teams were;

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Michael Keane, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, George Boyd, Dean Marney, David Jones, Scott Arfield, Danny Ings, Ashley Barnes (Sam Vokes 73). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Steven Reid, Michael Duff, Ross Wallace, Michael Kightly, Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Yellow Cards: Dean Marney, Ashley Barnes.

QPR: Rob Green, Mauricio Isla, Richard Dunne, Steven Caulker, Clint Hill (Armand Traore 75), Eduardo Vargas (Mauro Zarate 76), Joey Barton, Karl Henry (Bobby Zamora 69), Leroy Fer, Adel Taarabt, Charlie Austin. Subs not used: Alex McCarthy, Nedum Onuoha, Jordon Mutch, Matt Phillips.
Yellow Cards: Joey Barton, Clint Hill.

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).

Attendance: 17,253 (including 1,104 from QPR).