VOKES WILL FIRE UP CLARETS
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
LATE SHOW: Sam Vokes celebrates after scoring the equaliser for Burnley