Wells vows to make improvements
Nahki Wells has vowed to come back stronger next season in the hope of forcing his way into Sean Dyche’s first-team plans at Premier League side Burnley.
The Bermuda striker has not enjoyed the best of times at Turf Moor since his £5 million to the Lancashire club from top-flight rivals Huddersfield Town on transfer-deadline day last August.
The 27-year-old has found himself behind Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes and Chris Wood in the striking pecking order. Jonathan Walters, who has returned to fitness, was named on the substitutes’ bench ahead of Wells in the 1-1 draw away to Stoke City last weekend.
Wells admits he has to elevate his game if he is to feature more prominently in the first-team squad and is determined to make the necessary adjustments ahead of what could be a make-or-break 2018-19 campaign.
“I just have to try to do what I can to impress going into the summer and get myself physically and mentally ready for next season because it’s going to have to be a big season for me,” Wells told The Royal Gazette.
Wells made his long-awaited Premier League debut in Burnley’s 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur last December as a late substitute and has since made seven more substitutes appearances.
“It’s been a difficult one in regards to my limitations to having played,” said Wells, only the third Bermudian behind Shaun Goater and Kyle Lightbourne to play in the Premier League.
“But at the same time the people in front of me have done really, really well, so I have to just hold my hand up and accept that I need to do better next season.
“I need to come back stronger and fitter and take the chances I get in pre-season.
“I know that I am capable of it, and so I just have to go and do it.”
Burnley are seventh in the Premier League and on course to secure their place in next season’s Europa League.
Under normal circumstances three Europa League places are awarded to the FA Cup and EFL Cup winners along with the fifth-placed team in the Premier League.
The FA Cup winners and fifth-placed team both qualify for the group stage proper while the EFL Cup winners qualify for the third qualifying round.
However, if the FA Cup and EFL Cup winners finish in the top five in the Premier League then their Europa places will go to the next highest ranked team not qualified for Uefa competitions in the top flight.
Manchester City, the Premier League champions, won the EFL Cup while Manchester United, the Europa League champions, face Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
Chelsea are fifth in the Premier League, six points ahead of sixth-placed North London rivals Arsenal, with Burnley a further four points back with three matches remaining this season.
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