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Dyche Salutes Striker Sam

23 February 2016

Sean Dyche insists in-form striker Sam Vokes is a “joy to watch” as he regains his best form in a Burnley shirt.

Welsh international Vokes goes into tonight’s Turf Moor clash with Nottingham Forest looking to build on his current run of five goals in eight games.

Vokes has happy memories of facing the Reds, having scored twice the last time the two teams met at Turf Moor, two years ago yesterday.

Vokes at the double against Forest in March, 2014

And Dyche feels the nine-goal striker is becoming a better all-round player after recovering fully from a serious knee injury sustained shortly after that pivotal victory.

The gaffer said: “Sam is learning all the time. He is moulding himself into a more mature player, even though he is only mid-way through his career.

“He is beginning to understand the game better and his role within the game and the way he is maturing as a player has been a joy to watch at times.

“Even after having a long period out with a serious injury, he has come through that with no drama.

Vokes grabs the winner from the spot v Rotherham last weekend

“His match fitness has improved and he is looking after himself ever better.

“He is a very good player, which is why we were so pleased that he wanted to stay at the club and why we’ve given him a contract in order to do that.”

Vokes will again lead the line tonight, alongside Championship top scorer Andre Gray, as the Clarets look to extend their unbeaten run to 10 league games.

However, Forest head north looking to avenge a first league defeat since November against Huddersfield, last time out.

Dyche added: “The next game is Forest and it will be another challenge because they are a good side.

“People forget they had an embargo but they have still managed to do transfer business at the level they’ve been permitted to and they have some good players there.

“They have players who have been signed for millions of pounds, so they are certainly not a team of novices.

“They know the market they are in, so we have to be ready to go again and that’s just the Championship. You can’t take anyone for granted and we don’t do that.”

The Clarets will be without defender Michael Keane (head) for tonight’s clash, while winger Lloyd Dyer is also expected to miss out as he gets up to speed, fitness-wise, following his recent arrival as a free agent.

However, Dyche is looking forward to welcoming the former Watford wide man into the fold.

He added: “You want good players, but also the players want good players here too.

“They want people who can challenge the group and keep them playing well because sometimes it’s about the challenge within a group, not just the outside challenge.

“They thirst for that I believe and that’s what we want them to be like; to push each other all the time and never more so than when you have good players in your slots.”

If you can’t make it to Turf Moor on Tuesday, Clarets Player HD has full match commentary, with Matt Gilks joining Phil Bird behind the microphone. CLICK HERE for details.

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