Vincent Kompany believes that Scott Twine’s return from injury to become a Burnley matchwinner is typical of the sort of story the club need to be successful.
Midfielder Twine has made just five substitute appearances for the club since his summer move from MK Dons, having been hampered by a serious of minor injuries.
He came on as a substitute on Friday night to score his first goal for Burnley with a stunning late free-kick that secured a 2-1 Championship victory over West Brom.
The win – Burnley’s eighth in a row in the league – moves them 19 points clear of third-placed Watford, with automatic promotion back to the Premier League now looking a certainty.
The Clarets had to come from a goal behind to win with Darnell Furlong’s seventh-minute header giving in-form Albion hope of a 10th win in 11 league games before the hosts fought back.
Nathan Tella equalised with 15 minutes to go, then Twine struck the late winner to clinch maximum points.
It came a week after German defender Jordan Beyer’s first goal in senior football secured Kompany’s side a 1-0 victory over Coventry, emphasising for Kompany the importance of matchwinners emerging across his squad.
Kompany said: “I’m pleased for Twiney. As soon as he was behind that ball, you see his routine, you see his concentration, you see he’s in the zone, there’s a good chance the ball goes in. It tells a story of our group.
“He hadn’t scored this season, that’s another one (after Beyer). I’ve never seen a team be successful without these type of stories.
“I think the group felt his pain as well. He wasn’t not playing for any issues other than he had injuries. And it was little niggles, it wasn’t anything bad or damaging.
“But when you’re a football player, obviously the group feels it with you.
“Tonight he took his opportunity and the players have seen what he has gone through and you see there was a special little bit of happiness for him from everyone.”
Even in defeat, West Brom showed the resolute qualities that have seen them rise from the bottom of the Championship into the play-off places since Carlos Corberan’s appointment in October.
The Albion head coach acknowledged Burnley’s superiority, but said the defeat had left his players “in pain”.
He said: “I think it was one game where Burnley were better than us. It’s true that we scored early in the game and we had the feeling we were controlling the attacks. They had the ball but we were controlling the attacks – and we defended well.
“But they attacked really well. In the second half, we conceded more chances but I could see only a couple of situations where we were suffering.
“But to win these type of games, you have to be perfect in everything.
“They are a team where the keeper is a playmaker, so it’s very difficult to press them. But I think the key is what you do when you have the chance to use the ball and we didn’t find any solutions to the speed of their pressing.
“The team feel pain not because they lost late, but because they committed everything to the situation. They put in an amazing effort.”
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