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Burnley striker Ashley Barnes: Prem refs want us relegated

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes says Premier League referees would like to see them relegated.

Former Clarets boss Sean Dyche had a long-standing gripe about the number of big decisions he believed went against his side, and it has continued since his exit last month, with contentious decisions over penalties and a red card in each of Burnley's last two games.

Barnes was penalised for a debatable handball at Tottenham – with Harry Kane's resulting spot-kick the difference in a 1-0 defeat – but Burnley did not get a penalty for a similar incident involving Lucas Digne at Villa Park on Thursday night.

Mike Jackson's side ended that match with 10 men as substitute Matt Lowton was sent off late on, a decision Burnley will appeal against, but Barnes said it was part of a pattern as they prepare for Sunday's relegation showdown against Newcastle.

“I think in recent seasons people look at us and think we're a hard team, being ugly," Barnes said. “No disrespect, I think people, even referees, want us gone from the league.

“That's just another issue we have to overcome. We've just got to concentrate on the game ourselves."

Asked if referees “buy into" the reputation Burnley may have, Barnes added: “Of course they do. The whole situation when (Kevin Friend) goes to the screen at the weekend.

“(Tottenham) played on, they missed a great opportunity and everyone goes to set up for a goal-kick, but then there's VAR, it's like, 'What?'

“Then he's smiling when he comes away and no one can speak to him. Even (at Villa Park) we can't speak to (Paul Tierney). Go and check the screen, that's what it's for. We just need consistency throughout the decisions."

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