SAM Vokes insists he is ready to put up a fight for a first team shirt, and not give a fully fit Charlie Austin an easy route straight back into the side.
Targetman Vokes made his first start under Sean Dyche – and first for the Clarets since August – in the New Year’s Day win at Sheffield Wednesday.
With Austin ruled out with a hamstring strain, which will not only seee him miss tomorrow’s FA Cup third round game at Barnsley but is also likely to leave him sidelined for at least another week, Vokes is determined to make the most of his run in the team.
The Wales international has had to play second fiddle to the Clarets top scorer while he has blazed a 23-goal trail this season.
But Vokes has welcomed the opening, and hopes that his patience pays off with performances good enough to pose boss Dyche a headache when Austin is ready to return.
“Every footballer wants to play every game they can,” said the striker.
“It does get frustrating but the way we play with one up front it’s going to be that way if Charlie’s had as good a start to the season as he’s had.
“With his injury it’s a chance for me to play and hopefully play on.
Vokes became a permanent Clarets signing in the summer, but has had to wait until the new year to make his breakthrough into the first team, despite some impressive performances from the bench.
“I think sometimes you need to learn to be patient,” said Vokes.
“I’ve been kept out of the side because Charlie’s had a great start to the season with the goals he’s scored so for me to get the chance to play would be good.
“I’d like to get a run in the team and hopefully a few goals as well.
“I want to be playing every game and so does everyone in the squad but it doesn’t work that way.
“Sometimes if we’re playing a certain system it doesn’t suit every player, but when you do get the chance you’ve got to take it.
“Tuesday was fantastic. It was good to get 90 minutes under my belt and a great victory as well.
“I wish (Charlie) well and a speedy recovery, but if he is out for a few games it’s a chance for me to come in.”
Vokes went down in Clarets folklore by scoring the first home goal against Blackburn Rovers for 34 years.
He admits his late equaliser is still a hot topic of conversation among the fans he meets, but he is keen to add more to his tally.
“It’s a great feeling to score in a game like that and to make an impact off the bench,” he said.
“Coming into the game I realised how much it meant to everyone – the build-up to the game that week.
“The crowd were brilliant that day and to turn it round and score the way I did was such a good feeling.
“You could tell it meant something to everyone.”
He added: “Playing games now I’d like to add a few goals to my game and score a few along the way.
“As a team if we carry on what we’ve done over the last eight games or so we can take that into the FA Cup this weekend that would be good.
“A good cup run can only bode well for the squad.”