Wales must remain focused says striker Vokes

Striker Sam Vokes
Striker Sam Vokes

Clarets striker Sam Vokes admits that Wales must remain focused after Belgium were confirmed as their opponents in the quarter-final of Euro 2016.

The 26-year-old, who netted 16 times as Burnley won promotion back to the top flight, played 55 minutes as Chris Coleman’s side edged past Northern Ireland in Paris.

Vokes went close with two-headed attempts during the last 16 tie before being replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu. The breakthrough arrived 20 minutes later when defender Gareth McAuley put in to his own net from Gareth Bale’s cross.

“They’re all big games and the next one is the quarters. You never know what could happen if you get a result there.

“Every game is different and it’s tough to go into every game with the same mentality.

“But you’ve got to keep grinding out results, whether we’re playing 100 per cent as we were against Russia or against Northern Ireland when we were off it a bit.”

As for the win over Northern Ireland, the Burnley striker added: “With it being a British derby, it was always going to be difficult to break them down and I thought they were brilliant in the way they went about it.

“But Gareth’s ball across the box was the difference and to nick it at the end was a great feeling.

“They are special moments and that’s what this journey’s been all about. We build on that and hopefully get another one next week.”

Wales will take on Belgium, who beat Hungary 4-0 in their last outing, on Friday with kick-off at 8 p.m.

Defender Stephen Ward was also in action for the Republic of Ireland in their defeat to France.

The hosts were trailing through Robbie Brady’s penalty but Antoine Griezmann’s double turned the tie on its head.