Dyche delighted to welcome Vokes back to training

Sam Vokes scored 15 league goals for Burnley last season
Sam Vokes scored 15 league goals for Burnley last season

Clarets boss Sean Dyche is looking forward to welcoming Wales hero Sam Vokes back to training.

Burnley returned to Gawthorpe three weeks ago, with Tom Heaton and Stephen Ward rejoining the group last Monday after their exploits at Euro 2016.

Striker Vokes went deeper into the tournament with Wales, reaching the semi-final, after scoring a memorable header to seal the quarter-final victory over Belgium.

And Dyche is hoping for him to continue the form he has displayed since the turn of the year, scoring 12 of his 16 goals as Burnley won the Championship title.

Vokes missed the first half of the Clarets’ last season in the Premier League after a cruciate knee ligament injury, and Dyche said: “I spoke to him, to check how he is, how he’s feeling, I sent him a couple of texts but didn’t get too involved while he was away with Wales, it’s important to leave them to what they are doing while with their national sides, but obviously he had a good summer mentally and physically, and played a strong part in what Wales achieved.

“He had a great second half of the season and went into the summer in great shape, physically and mentally, and we want that to continue.

“It’s really good for Sam because he missed out on the last Premier League season really, we got him in right at the end but it takes time to come back from those injuries and he wasn’t quite ready.

“Last season he showed to everyone he is ready, and we look forward to getting him back.

“He still needed that rest, he had a long season and played a lot of football, a lot of 90 minutes, so he’s having a break.”

Vokes won’t be involved at Bolton Wanderers in Burnley’s latest friendly tonight, and Dyche has slight injury concerns over fellow strikers Ashley Barnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz, who were both taken off in Burnley’s 4-1 win at Bradford on Saturday as a precaution.

Barnes started the game, but a minute before half-time played a pass back to Ben Mee and felt his hamstring.

Jutkiewicz came on in his place for the final minute, but didn’t appear for this start of the second half, as he was replaced by Rouwen Hennings.

Dyche explained: “Hopefully it’s not too serious, he (Barnes) felt his hamstring was a bit tight and a bit sore and he got off immediately.

“I’ve no problem with that, this is no time for heroes, we need fitness, that’s the key thing.

“Juke’s hamstring was tight as well which is why he didn’t come out for the second half. It wasn’t strained or anything but we just can’t afford to take risks so that’s why those two came off.”