Kightly determined to bring goals to help keep Clarets on top
MICHAEL Kightly hopes his first official goal for the Clarets will lead to more to keep the club riding high in the Championship.
Burnley returned to the top of the table on goal difference, after Kightly’s unstoppable 65th minute effort proved enough to beat bottom club Barnsley.
Results elsewhere were also helpful in the Clarets reclaiming first place, with last week’s leaders Leicester City, who they face this Saturday, losing at Brighton and QPR being held to a goalless draw at home to Blackburn Rovers.
And Kightly, whose equalising strike in the 2-2 draw at Millwall was recorded as a Shane Lowry own goal because of a wicked deflection, wants his winner over the struggling Tykes to kick-start a run both individually and collectively.
“I haven’t scored as many as I’d like while I’m here but hopefully that can set me on the way and I can get more now.
“I’ve scored a couple similar but it’s definitely up there. It’s my first proper goal for Burnley and it was an important one as well,” said Kightly, who called for the club to “stick together” to help Burnley maintain their challenge at the top, after sensing an edgy atmosphere in the last two home games.
“It’s important for the fans to not get carried away. The expectation leaks into the players. The fans haven’t got on us but they expect us to beat Barnsley and that’s not always the case,” added the winger, who is on a season-long loan from Stoke.
“We need everyone to stick together. We’ve been a victim of our own success a bit. No-one expected us to be where we are but it’s important for us all as a club, a town and a team to keep pulling in the right direction, towards where we want to go.
“We’re a good side. I think it’s different now to 10 games ago when teams weren’t taking us seriously. Teams come here and expect a tough game so they raise their game. That’s something we’ve got to deal with.”
But Kightly said little attention had been paid to the suggestion that Burnley were suffering a ‘mini slump’ through a run of five league games without a win.
“People were saying we had a little slump but we only lost one game in 15 (in the league) so we’ve still got good form going,” he said.
“We’ve not read too much into it as players. We believe in what we’ve got here and we’ve got a great set of staff who take pressure off the players.
“The gaffer at half-time said just go out and enjoy it and play football, don’t look like you’re worrying about anything and I think that’s what we did in the second half. We could have got one or two more.”
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