Burnley can count on strikers for goals

Burnley's Sam Vokes  out runs Middlesbrough's Justin Hoyte

Burnley's Sam Vokes out runs Middlesbrough's Justin Hoyte

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SAM Vokes feels the Burnley forward line is proving it still offers a significant threat, despite the sale of Jay Rodriguez and injury to Danny Ings.

The Clarets have scored seven goals in their first three competitive games this season, with Charlie Austin netting three in three, while Martin Paterson hit the opener in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bolton.

Vokes earned his first start in the 3-2 defeat at Middlesbrough on Tuesday - denied a debut strike by a deflection right on half-time - and he feels, despite the loss of Rodriguez, and Ings’ injury absence, that there are goals in the side.

The Wales international said: “Pato looked very strong on Saturday, and all three of us offer different options.

“It was good to work alongside Chas on Tuesday, I worked with him last year, but at Middlesbrough I thought we worked well, we had a few chances each and Chas got his goal.

“He’s done well, I knew what a good striker he was from his days at Swindon, and we’re both Bournemouth lads.

“He’s done very well, got a lot of goals and started this campaign very well.

“You want your strikers to be in the right place at the right time, and he usually is. It takes games to form that bond, but I felt we did well.

“He’ll work hard for you as well, and if you put in the graft, you’ll reap the rewards.”

The supply line is also in place - Kieran Trippier had a hand in both goals at Boro, while Junior Stanislas got a goal and an assist in the first two league games: “We have great wingers and full backs.

“Tripps got an assist on Tuesday, and we have a great balance.

“Junior is also great for someone like myself, he has pace and good delivery.

“It was good for him to get his first goal, but it’s good to have his sort of delivery.”

Burnley come up against Huddersfield hot-shot Jordan Rhodes tomorrow, who hit 40 in 45 games last term as the Terriers were promoted, and Vokes admitted: “He’s a great striker, scored a lot of goals last year, got another on Tuesday and will be a big player for them.

“We’ll have to be at our best to stop him.

“But we have the three of us competing for places as well.

“It’s tough to get in the team, but when you do, it’s a chance to prove yourself, score goals and play well.

“It’s what you’re judged on as a striker, so I’d like that first one under my belt and try and get a few more.

“It was good to get my first start, I would have liked to get off the mark and get the three points, but I thought we did well and we’ll try and take that into the Huddersfield game.”

Burnley felt a tough hard done to at Boro, losing to three spectacular strikes, but Vokes feels there were a number of plus points: “It was always going to be a tough game, and with five minutes to go we were looking at a good point, but what can you do with two goals like that?

“It was a tough one to take, but we can take a lot of positives.

“If the luck goes our way at Huddersfield, maybe we’ll score two like that.

“We came back from 2-1 down, but came away with some real positives - I felt we were the stronger team in the first half, especially the first half an hour.

“We look the lead, and then showed a lot of spirit coming back late on.

“It’s always tough, Saturday-Tuesday games, but the boys just want to get back out there and prove a point.

“Huddersfield have a strong home record, they’re new to the league and will be tough opposition.

“But if we can win there, it will be a very good start.”

Upon signing a permanent deal at Burnley last month, Vokes spoke of his wish to find a footballing home after a string of loan moves while at Wolves, and he is delighted he made the switch: “I love the lads, it’s a great club, and it was great to get my first start. It feels more and more like home, and it’s great.”

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