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Vokes edges closer to return

Burnley FC

8:30am 10th December 2014

Sam Vokes’ recovery from a long-term knee injury took a major boost after the striker completed his first 90 minutes since March.

The Welshman completed the 0-2 U21 Development Squad defeat at Wigan Athletic, with no complications.

Although it was a game of little chances for the Clarets Vokes, who had scored three goals in the previous two outings, racked up more vital match time in his preparation to his long awaited return to the first team.

The Clarets fell to two second half goals against a strong Wigan side, including £3m striker Andy Delort.

Senior Professional Development Phase Coach Michel Jolley said: “It has been a gradual build up for Sam. Obviously he had his 45 minutes two weeks ago, 70 last week and now he has played his first full 90, so it is good that he is getting those minutes under his belt.

“I think the big thing with Sam is that he has never been rushed. I think everybody understands that he has been out a long time so his build up has to be quite gradual and the gaffer has been very influential in making sure if he has played the right minutes or not.

“Sam is in a good place right now, he is looking really sharp and moving well so it was great news all round that he has played 90 minutes and it is now up to the gaffer how to take things forward from this point.”

On the defeat, Jolley added: “I was really pleased with our first half performance, I thought we were excellent and some of the individual performances were exactly what we have been looking for.
“Somebody like Alex Whitmore, I thought he had an excellent game overall, but certainly first half he was terrific.

“In the second half we found it more difficult. We were too eager to try and get in behind them so we played too many balls in behind them where as I think we should have been a bit more patient which meant we didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked.”

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