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Win over Reds gave us belief we'd stay up, says Vokes

 

By Liam Blackburn

Sam Vokes scored the goals which virtually ensured Burnley's Premier League survival, having sensed they would avoid the drop as early as August.

The Clarets reached the 40-point landmark with a 2-2 home draw against West Brom on Saturday, and they can consider themselves clear of the relegation scrap ahead of the final two fixtures given they are six points above the bottom three with a much healthier goal difference.

It is a scenario few envisaged when they won promotion 12 months ago, given the financial power of the east Lancashire club compared to their top-fight rivals, yet the only time they have occupied the relegation zone all season was after their opening-day loss to Swansea.

Sean Dyche's side followed that up with a 2-0 Turf Moor success over Liverpool on an afternoon when they had just 19% possession and Vokes, who opened his account that day and took his tally to nine with a brace against the Baggies at the weekend, revealed that August triumph over the Reds instilled a belief they would not go down.

"You could go to the start of the season with a massive result against Liverpool at home," Vokes said. "The only time we slipped in to the bottom three was the first day of the season so it shows that we belong above that.

"You always look around the corner at the table but there's a lot of clubs down there and it's been quite tight this year."

West Brom are another team who have steered well clear of trouble, having spent five months in eighth position.

However, Northern Ireland international Chris Brunt stressed their season should be considered in a wider context.

"It's a big achievement for a club our size to be as comfortable as we have been this season," he said.

"We have three games left to try and finish in the top 10 and you would have snapped someone's hand off if they had offered you that at the start of the season."

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