VOKES WILL FIRE UP CLARETS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Chris Dunlavy

BURN­LEY boss Sean Dy­che saw Sam Vokes snatch a stun­ning late lev­eller – then backed the fita­gain Welsh­man to fill the void left by Danny Ings.

Ings formed a deadly part­ner­ship with Vokes as the Clarets won pro­mo­tion to the Premier League in 2014, then net­ted 11 goals in the top flight to earn a switch to Liver­pool.

Vokes was not so lucky, miss­ing much of last term as he bat­tled back from rup­tured cru­ci­ate lig­a­ments.

But, with Burn­ley trail­ing to Mirco An­tenucci’s 83rd-minute screamer, the 25-year-old climbed off the bench to plant a trade­mark header be­yond Mirco An­tenucci and Dy­che says the striker is back to his best.

“In­juries like the one Sam had take a long time to get over,” said the Burn­ley boss, whose side fin­ished 19th in the Premier League last term. “But he’s get­ting fit­ter and sharper ev­ery sin­gle day.

“When big play­ers leave, it al­lows real growth in oth­ers. It al­lows you to be the man who makes the dif­fer­ence.

“I re­mem­ber when I was at Wat­ford and we’d just sold Marvin Sordell to Bolton for about £3mil­lion. We had a fans’ fo­rum and some­body said ‘who will get the goals?’ Troy Deeney was sit­ting next to me and he said ‘I will – don’t worry about it’.

“You could see in his eyes that he meant it and he’s never looked back since.

“That kind of think­ing can break down bar­ri­ers and Sam knows that bet­ter than any­one. Two years ago, ev­ery­one was say­ing ‘Oh, he’s a bit­part player who only comes off the bench’. A year later they were say­ing ‘ He’s dif­fer­ent class’. He can step up again and I want ev­ery­one to think like that.”

Dy­che was nat­u­rally de­lighted to es­cape with a point but for Leeds boss Uwe Rosler, his de­but in the El­land Road dugout was tinged with dis­ap­point­ment.

“I thought we had won the game,” he said. “And we should have. Not just be­cause we were ahead with five min­utes to go but all the chances we missed. Chris Wood had two, Stu­art Dal­las had two. Alex Mowatt too. I was re­ally happy with the per­for­mance but it is two points dropped.”

Rosler also praised the ap­pli­ca­tion of his young side, and with good rea­son. For much of a bleak two

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

LATE SHOW: Sam Vokes cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing the equaliser for Burn­ley

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