A 2-0 home win over Wigan on Monday confirmed Burnley’s promotion back to the Premier League in a fairytale story for the Turf Moor outfit.
After an 11th placed Championship finish last season, the sale of hotshot striker Charlie Austin to Queens Park Rangers suggested that the Lancashire club’s dreams of playing in the top flight again any time soon were out of reach.
There were graves concerns over just where the side’s goals were going to come from this term, but in Danny Ings and Sam Vokes Burnley have had arguably the most dangerous strike pairing in the Championship.
Their transformation is largely down to the trust that Dyche has afforded the pair, as with no replacement for Austin forthcoming it was down to the youthful duo to get the goals to fire Burnley into the reckoning.
Vokes and Ings had only managed seven league goals between them last term, with Burnley seemingly reliant on Austin to score the majority for the side. His 24 Championship goals would take some replacing, but the current duo have more than proven that they have been up to the task.
Ings has netted 19 times in 38 starts for the club this season and has recently been named the Championship Player of the Year for his excellent campaign.
The 21-year-old predator has taken his time to adjust to life at Turf Moor after signing for Burnley from Bournemouth in 2011. Fleeting opportunities have shown glimpses of ability but it has only been this season that Ings has been afforded a consistent starting role – and the centre forward has reveled in the opportunity.
Two goals in three appearances for England under-21’s last year raised the attacker’s profile further, with rumblings in the media that Premier League suitors were starting to spy the striker as the season has progressed.
Vokes has been something of a journeyman in his short career to date, playing for eight different sides despite only being 24.
Like Ings, the Wales international ironically also started out at Bournemouth, before moving to Wolves in 2008. The Molineux side loaned the attacker out to a number of Football League sides before the burly forward made the move to Turf Moor in 2012.
Vokes has hit the back of the opposition net on 20 occasions this term – more than in his five previous seasons combined. His combination play with Ings has been a joy for the Burnley faithful to behold, with the pair operating in a 4-4-2 system and more than making up for the previous overdependence on Austin.
Although Dyche will be keen to reinforce before taking on the big boys in the Premier League next term, a relatively modest budget suggests that there is every chance that Ings and Vokes will continue to lead the line for the side.
Vokes has had some experience of playing in the top flight with Wolves without ever scoring a goal, while for Ings it will be his first taste of the big time.
Under an astute manager and with a passionate fanbase supporting their cause, Burnley could well cause a few surprises next term. If and when they do, expect their talented young strike partnership to be the chief protagonists.