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Vokes Previews Southampton Clash

20 March 2015

Sam Vokes says he is continuing to build up his match fitness ahead of this weekend’s trip to his home club Southampton.

The Burnley striker made his first Premier League start in last weekend’s victory over champions Manchester City, before receiving a call-up to the Wales squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Israel earlier this week.

And Vokes is now looking to continue his progress, as he also looks to continue a search for his first top-flight goal.

Reflecting on his journey back to full match fitness, he said: “Obviously, it’s been a long road back.

“I came back in on Boxing Day against Liverpool for my first few minutes in the first team and then I’ve been building up really.

“Obviously, I started at the weekend and got 85 minutes or so under my belt and that was another stepping stone.

“It’s one of those where I keep workings towards it and hopefully keep proving my fitness on the pitch.

“I’m in a good place and it was great to start at the weekend and obviously get a massive win.

“But on a personal note, it’s just about keep building up the minutes and seeing where it takes me.”

Vokes was born in Southampton and released by his local club at a young age, before starting his professional career at nearby Bournemouth.

The Welsh international, who scored against Southampton in Burnley’s 4-3 defeat at St. Mary’s in the third round of the FA Cup last season, admits he is now looking forward to another return
to the south coast.

He also points out that Saturday will see a meeting of two teams who were widely written off at the start of season.

Vokes added: “It’s a club I supported as a child, so it’s a fixture I always look forward to.

“There are a couple of lads here who are from the same area as myself, too and we went back down there last year and put in a good performance in the FA Cup as well.

“They’ve brilliant this season and it’s going to be a tough test for us.

“I think at the start of the season a lot of people wrote them off given the players they lost.

“But they’ve brought some strong players in and they’re now looking at that top end of the table.

“We have been written off from the start as well, but it’s a good thing, I suppose; having that underdog attitude going into games.

“There’s no pressure on you and I think it paid off for us against City on Saturday.

“Hopefully we can now take confidence from last week into this weekend.”

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