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Vokes bids for derby double
SAM Vokes says it meant a lot to him to score an important derby goal, but it would mean even more to grab the winner this Sunday.
Vokes came off the bench in the 86th minute of the last East Lancashire duel, and within three minutes sent the home fans into raptures with a late equaliser.
The goal, which cancelled out Jordan Rhodes’ 68th minute effort to rescue a point, was the first time Burnley had scored at home against their bitter rivals in 34 years.
But Vokes hopes all that can change this weekend as battle lines are drawn again at Ewood Park.
The Wales striker is ready to write new records.
“We would love to win,” said the 23-year-old. “It would be fantastic to score that all-important goal too. But as long as we get the result I don't mind who scores.
“We all said last time last time that it was good we managed to get a point in the end, but three points away from home would be fantastic.
“That would be massive for us.
“We know how big the game is going to be. It’s a good occasion.”And Vokes knows it’s just as vital to play that occasion as it is the game, as he discovered last time.
“I’ve played at Ewood Park before, and I know from the last experience of the derby that it will be lively on the day,” he said.
“It was a great atmosphere at Turf Moor and there will be plenty of Burnley fans behind us again.
“Hopefully we can get the result for them and that wait for a win is over.”
Vokes felt they were close to overcoming their rivals in the December meeting.
“We were a bit disappointed we didn’t get more from the game. In the first half we were the stronger team but in the second half their goal shook everyone,” said the striker.
“It was a good equaliser in the end and we can take positives from the whole performance into Sunday.
“For me personally it was fantastic to score.
“To be 1-0 down up to the last minute it was a bit of a relief to say the least.
“It’s a goal that the fans still talk about and I’d love to do it again.”
And Vokes is optimistic of Burnley’s luck changing against a side that have struggled to come to terms with life after relegation from the Premier League.
“I am surprised by that, but a lot of sides that have come down this season have struggled, including my old team Wolves,” he said.
“Sometimes when you come down from the Premier League people think you just jump straight back up again.
“It’s not that easy in this league because all teams are capable of beating each other.
“Blackburn have found it tough and hopefully that’s something we can capitalise on.”
But Vokes knows they are not to be underestimated.
“All these teams have still got a lot of Premier League experience and class in their team though, and every team is capable of going on a run,” he added.
“But in derbies form can be thrown out of the window. It’s a big occasion and it’s about whoever performs on the day.”
Meanwhile, Vokes has been named in the Wales squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia laster this month.
The striker scored on his last appearance for his country in a friendly victory against Austria last month.
l BURNLEY’S development squad were beaten 2-1 in a behind closed doors friendly with a Wigan XI yesterday.