Clarets star Vokes aims to upset his neighbours
AUSTRALIANS have been telling us for decades that ‘everybody needs good neighbours’, but Sam Vokes is ready to risk their wrath.
The Burnley striker is surrounded by a smattering of Bolton fans on the estate he has called home since making the move from Wolves two summers ago.
There may be trouble ahead if he adds to his tally in tonight’s derby – especially if it results in an away win.
Wanderers’ woes have been keenly felt at the Reebok, where their last win – their only triumph since the turn of the year – was only their third at home all term.
But if they’re looking to Vokes for sympathy, they’ve gone to the wrong man.
“It’s a tough one being a local derby but we’re going to go there full of confidence from the weekend,” he said.
“They’ve slipped up a few times and it’s a chance for us to go there and do that to them again.
“They’ve got a very strong squad and some good players with good experience so it’s not going to be an easy place to go.
“I don’t think we can go there thinking their position in the league means it’s a given.
“But we need to go there full of confidence from the last couple of games and results and take that into this one.”
Vokes admitted the chance to return to second spot - with QPR not playing until last night's televised game at Derby - was a big motivation to return to winning ways at the weekend, after a run of three draws.
But he is expecting the race for second spot to yo-yo, and knows they will need to keep working at it.
"It's nice to look at the table and see your name up there," he said.
"I know the lads don't get carried away with that because there was another big game in the league (last night).
"There are going to be ups and downs to the end of the season, we've just got to do our best when we go out there.
"I'm sure it will twist and turn, there are lots of games to go and we've still got to play a lot of teams in and around us so there will be some tough ones coming up."
After Saturday's trip to Vokes' first club Bournemouth (his first return since leaving in almost six years) the Clarets host back-to-back home games against two of the top six - Nottingham Forest and Derby - with leaders Leicester to come at the end of March.
It is a challenge he relishes.
"We've got great belief in ourselves at home. We've shown great character in some big games there already this season so I'm sure we'll do well," said the Wales international.
But at manager Sean Dyche's insistence, the Clarets take the games one at a time, and Vokes is focused on beating Bolton, regardless of the consequences when he gets home.
"I won't say too much, but it would be nice to win," he said.