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Burnley sweat on Vokes fitness
BURNLEY are sweating on the fitness of Sam Vokes, after the striker was effectively ruled out of Wales’ World Cup qualifier with Macedonia tonight.
The 23-year-old met up with Chris Coleman’s squad after scoring in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Reading, which kept the Clarets top of the Championship ahead of the international break.
But Vokes was only able to do light training on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury.
The extent of the problem is not yet known, but with Vokes only declared unfit for selection on the eve of the game it is not thought to be serious and he could be available for Tuesday’s Group A game away to Belgium.
“Sam’s a huge doubt. He has a problem with his ankle,” said Coleman. “I don’t expect Sam to be involved (tonight). He’s got a chance for Tuesday, but I don’t expect him to be there (tonight).”
Burnley will be keen to get their eight-goal striker back to base intact, with summer signing Ryan Noble the only other recognised striker behind the potent partnership of Vokes and 11-goal top scorer Danny Ings, who made his England under 21 debut as a 65th-minute substitute as they won 4-0 in San Marino in a European Championship qualifier last night.
In the event of further absence, Sean Dyche would be forced to delve into the loan transfer market.
The Burnley boss has not yet been able to add to his attacking options since Charlie Austin was sold to QPR on the eve of the season because of limited funds.
He could expect money to be made available in an emergency, but he believes their current financial position has helped to encourage everyone involved with the club to pull together.
“When you tell fans where you’re at (financially), with honesty, fans respond, they kind of get it,” he said.
“Not everyone agrees, but in a strange way – and results help – it’s galvanised the town to remember who and what we are.
“It’s not a negative to say you have to be careful, it’s quickly a positive because there’ll be someone beyond me, and the club will still want to move forward.
“My point is I’ll manage what is on offer, I don’t cry about it, you go hard, push it, develop it and move forward.
“That’s how I’ve always thought.
“If things didn’t quite go as well, there has to be a balance, but it’s not a negative. There is an expectation and we have to live up to that.
“It’s bringing everything together, I think people think ‘right, that’s where we’re at, let’s pull together and get behind the team’.”
Meanwhile, winger Ross Wallace is making good progress in his recovery from knee surgery to repair ‘wear and tear’ damage.
After starting the season, the Scot has been sidelined since August and was told to expect to be out for up to four months.
Dyche said: “Ross is on plan, on track, obviously it’s a longer-term plan, but he’s on track.”
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