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Wells stays on bench for Burnley

Nahki Wells was an unused substitute for the second straight match as Burnley scored a late winner to beat Stoke City and move into the top four in the Premier League.

Ashley Barnes came off the substitutes bench in the 71st minute and scored in the 89th.

The win lifts Burnley ahead of powerhouses such as Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, and into a Champions League place.

Wells, a £5 million signing from Huddersfield Town in August, missed the start of the season because of ankle surgery and is still waiting to make his first appearance in the Premier League. Part of it could be that Burnley are not relying on just the strikers to score their goals, with eight different players finding the net this season.

“It's about being able to rely on everyone ... we have that mentality and belief in each other,” Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, told the club's website before last night's match.

“There's an obvious case for strikers being strikers and we want them to score, of course, but behind that it's a team event.

“It's not just about relying on anyone. It's relying on everyone, in fact. Goals can come from different areas of the pitch for different reasons and Saturday was a good show of it — and another good goal [from Scott Arfield].”

Arfield was making his first start since October 21 because of Robbie Brady's long-term knee injury. His other goal this season came in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool in September.

“There have been some really high-quality goals this season,” Dyche added. “Yet again, the mentality of the players and the belief in each other is on show. That's got to continue, but it's intact, that's for sure.” •

• Bermuda winger Reggie Lambe did not have to report to work last night after Carlisle's FA Cup second round replay at home to Gillingham was postponed yesterday because of a frozen pitch. It was the first time a match at Brunton Park has been called off because of a frozen pitch since December 2010.

Flying high: Burnley's Phil Bardsley, left, and Stoke City's Ramadan Sobhi vie for the ball during the 1-0 win for Nahki Wells's side, who moved up to fourth in the Premier League. The Bermuda forward was named on the substitutes' bench for the second successive match, but did not get on (Photograph by Martin Rickett/PA/AP)

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Published December 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm (Updated December 12, 2017 at 9:49 pm)

Wells stays on bench for Burnley

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