Having missed the final run-in of last season’s promotion push in the Championship, striker Sam Vokes is hoping to make amends in Burnley’s fight for Premier League survival.
The 25-year-old was sidelined for the remaining seven games of the 2013/14 campaign when damaging his cruciate knee ligaments in defeat to Leicester City at Turf Moor.
But the Welshman, who returned to action on Boxing Day against Liverpool and netted in the FA Cup tie against Spurs 10 days later, will be available for selection with seven games to go this time around.
And the former Wolves marksman is eyeing his first ever goal in England’s top tier over the forthcoming finale of fixtures.
“Of course I want that goal, especially as a striker, that’s your job and you want to be scoring goals, but it will come. I feel great coming in to this run of games I’ve had and hopefully I can kick on over the final seven.
“I think last season’s run-in can only help us. We’re a tight group, a similar group to last year that put that run in so I’m hoping that will play well towards the end.”
The Clarets have kept successive clean sheets at Turf Moor, against defending champions Manchester City, who had scored in all 20 of their previous league fixtures on the road, and the Premier League’s fifth most prolific side, Spurs.
Now Vokes is hoping that similar foundations are built when in-form Arsenal arrive in town for tomorrow’s 5-30 p.m. kick-off.
“We have enjoyed these games,” he said. “We put in another great performance here against a tough side who are pushing for the top six.
“If we can keep putting those performances in towards the end of the season we will give ourselves the best chance.
“We spoke about it and if we keep clean sheets it gives us a chance to win the game, or at the minimum take a point. We did that on Sunday and hopefully we can make it three in the next game.
“It will be a similar game to Sunday really. They are putting in some good performances but we back ourselves against anyone when we play here and in the games against City and Tottenham we’ve shown we can do it.”
After Villa’s 3-3 draw against QPR midweek, Vokes added: “Everyone checks the results, it’s only natural, but it’s one of those things, you’ve got to focus on the job in hand.
“We know what we’ve got to do, other teams are going to do whatever they do, when we go to in games we have to put performances in and get what we need.
“We’ve always had the expectancy on us to do well and put the performances in. It’s three from six now.
“You can see how close it is down there and there’s some big games up ahead of us.”