STRIKER Sam Vokes says he has no problem with outsiders calling Burnley’s run a “mini slump”.

Given that the Clarets remain just a point off top spot despite going five league games without a win the Wales international deems it a compliment based on their impressive start.

But he admits the reaction – an over-reaction in Burnley's view – is an incentive to start winning again.

“It seems a bit drastic (calling the run a ‘mini slump’) but we’ve earned it because people have got that respect for us that they think we’re going to go out and roll over teams every week,” said Vokes, ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Barnsley.

“It’s a very tough league.

“High expectations are there which is to our own merit I suppose because of how we performed at the start of the season.

“Clubs are giving us that respect when we play them to almost sit in and hold. It’s up to us to break them down.

“Now we’ve earned the right to be up there and now a lot of teams and a lot of people have got more respect for us.

“We’ve earned that ourselves.

"I think at the start it maybe surprised a few people but now we’re further in the season people have seen the quality we’ve got.

“We’ve got something to prove and we can hold our own up there.

“We’ve proved we can be at that end of the table and hopefully we can carry on.

“We’ve had a great start to the season. Up to a few games ago we were flying.

“We’ve picked up a few I suppose indifferent results in the last few games but we’ve still been putting in the performances that are worthy of the win.

“But we need to go out and earn those wins and I’m sure they will come if we keep performing the way we have been.”

Ever-present Vokes was without strike partner Danny Ings for the first time this season on Tuesday, as the top scorer missed the visit of Watford because of an ankle injury.

It was Burnley’s first goalless draw since facing Middlesbrough at home in February last season, ironically a game that Ings was also absent for.

Vokes said he missed is scoring sidekick, with who he has developed a seemingly telepathic connection this season.

“I told him to get fit for Saturday,” said Vokes.

“It’s been a partnership that has worked well this year.

“We’ve been proud of it and it’s something we want to keep going.”

But he has backed Burnley to get back among the goals even if Ings is ruled out through injury again.

“There are other options. Our wide boys have chipped in with a few this year and Scott (Arfield) has scored some very important goals,” said Vokes.

“There’s a lot of cover in the team.”

Vokes played the lone striker role in midweek, with Arfield working just off him.

“Scott did well on Tuesday night. He’s got an abundance of energy, he’s a good workhorse. He’ll do the defensive duties and get up in support of me. I thought it worked well the other night.”

“As a striker you’ve always got pressure to score goals and it’s a pressure that I like.

“You want to have that,” said the 24-year-old Welsh international.

“Ingsy’s obviously proved himself this year, that he’s got the goals and he’s been a fantastic striker.

“Whoever plays wants to go out and do the job.

“You always want to get on the scoresheet and three points would be invaluable at this stage of the season.”

Ings is hopeful of overcoming his ankle knock in time for tomorrow’s game.