Vokes backing Clarets to make an impression on the European stage
After defying the odds to finish seventh in the Premier League, striker Sam Vokes says that the next step for the Clarets is to make an impression in Europe.
Burnley enter the Europa League at the second qualifying stage, with the campaign beginning on July 26, and would then have to negotiate another two ties, both two-legged, to make it to the competition’s group stages.
The players will learn their fate on June 19, five days after the unveiling of their domestic calendar and the start of the World Cup, with the draw taking place at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon.
Vokes, who netted four times in the top flight this season, said: “We’ve got to be successful in Europe. We’ve got to qualify for the next round in that and see where it takes us.
“It’s a new challenge for us so we won’t know much about it until we get there. It’s a challenge we’re looking forward to and we believe we can do it. We’re ready to take it on.
“The Champions League will be next! We keep stepping up to the challenge every year. First of all we want to stay up, then we’ll look to build on that. It’s exactly what we’ve done this year.
“We’ve got three qualifying rounds to play beforehand so they’ll be big games for us. There’s nothing better than being under the lights at Turf Moor and this will be a new experience for us all. We’ll want to give a good account of ourselves.”
Sean Dyche’s squad will be involved in four competitions next season, a challenge that will push the group to its limits, but the Welshman is backing his team-mates to step up once again.
Having eclipsed outside expectations time and time again, the 28-year-old said: “We’re ready to take it on, of course. We’ll come back in pre-season and get ready to build on what we’ve done this year.
“We’re not getting carried away here because we know it’s going to be tough every season. Everyone writes us off so let’s see if we can secure another Premier League season. It’s never going to be easy but it’s important that we keep building.
“We keep taking on these different challenges, whether that be in the Premier League or whatever else it is. The Europa League is something that we’re all looking forward to. We’ve been written off a lot of times. I remember in the first season that we got promoted we were meant to go down from the Championship that year.
“We’ve come up against it before so it’s something that we’re all used to. Hopefully we can prove people wrong again.”