Vokes says Clarets are Premier League ready

Sam Vokes battles for the ball with Jack Cork
Sam Vokes battles for the ball with Jack Cork

Striker Sam Vokes says that the Clarets feel ‘Premier League’ ahead of the club’s second successive season at this level.

The core of Sean Dyche’s squad have developed that experience and know how of what it takes to survive in the top flight having got another season under their belts.

And experienced summer additions including Jonathan Walters, Jack Cork and Phil Bardsley have also made 635 appearances combined at this level.

With the new campaign kicking off in two weeks’ time against champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, he said: “Altogether, individually and as a squad, we feel Premier League now.

“We came up last time and went straight back down but we gave it another good go. With our home form especially we feel a massive part of it.

“We’ve got some great players now and some great competition for those places. There’s some real talent in the squad.

“You see the players coming in already and Bardsley coming in as well will add to that competition. It can only bode well for the squad because there’s strength in every position now.

“There’s a lot of great Premier League experience coming in now so I think it’s another big step for the club to be bringing those kind of players in.

“The core of the squad has been through both sides of it so the experience is there.

“I think there’s strength in numbers and we’ve got the experience.”

Vokes didn’t want last season to end after finishing as the club’s leading scorer but the forward is looking forward to getting going again.

The 27-year-old culminated the campaign on a high when hitting double figures with the opener against West Ham at Turf Moor.

And he was soon back in to the swing of things when claiming Burnley’s fourth goal in victory over Shamrock Rovers at the Tallacht Stadium during a pre-season training camp in Ireland.

The Welshman, who helped his nation claim a point in Serbia in a World Cup qualifier last month, then added another in a 2-1 win over Preston North End at Deepdale, though his latest contribution may be decided by the Dubious Goals Committee.

With Kevin Long also claiming Burnley’s second of the night, having headed Robbie Brady’s corner goalwards, Vokes said: “Longy got a great head on it but I think I managed to get my toe nail on it as it was going in to the far post.

“Overall it was a great workout, the lads got some good minutes under their belt and it was a good test.

He added: “I’m looking forward to the new season. It’s another big test for us. It was a great season in completing that job of staying up so we’ll be looking to do the same again.

“I felt brilliant (last term) and I didn’t want the season to end. It was a great end to it with staying up. For us as a squad we’ll look to build on that this year and try to push forward.”