‘Strike pair are more formidable than title-winning duo’ - David Jones

Prolific pairing: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, pictured taking on Steve Caldwell five years ago, netted 25 goals and Chris Iwelumo 16 as Wolves were promoted to the Premier League
Prolific pairing: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, pictured taking on Steve Caldwell five years ago, netted 25 goals and Chris Iwelumo 16 as Wolves were promoted to the Premier League
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Strikers Chris Iwelumo and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scored 41 goals between them as they fired Wolves to the Championship title five seasons ago.

Indeed, Ebanks-Blake was the division’s top scorer with 25.

But Clarets midfielder David Jones, who played in that side that won the league by seven points from Birmingham City, feels Burnley’s little and large duo are a more formidable force.

Sam Vokes - who was also in the Wolves class of 2009 - and Danny Ings have netted 23 goals so far, with a third of the season gone.

And Jones believes they have more of an understanding than Mick McCarthy’s prolific pair.

He said: “The signs that these two are showing are probably more of a partnership than at Wolves.

“Although they did really well and scored a lot of goals, I’d say they haven’t got the same partnership as these two.

“Sam’s grown in stature and he’s showing things in his game - not only the goals and the hold-up play that you’d expect from a big lad like Vokesy - he’s setting up some goals, subtle touches that have really cut open defences.

“He’s been a part of a lot of goals this season.

“And Ingsy has really good feet, he’s quick, he’s got a finish, he can shoot.

“He’s not a one-trick pony, so for defenders he’s a nightmare.

“We need to utilise that as much as possible because he’s a threat every time he gets the ball in the final third of the pitch.”

Vokes seems to have found a footballing home after a nomadic existence earlier in his career.

Jones has been impressed with the way Vokes has performed, meaning the loss of £4m frontman Charlie Austin has barely been felt: “I was with Sam when he was a really young lad at Wolves.

“He was always a threat then because he’d made quite a few appearances as a young lad at Bournemouth.

“Now he’s taken his game onto a different level.

“He’s such a nice guy. On the pitch he’s a big threat and I think that comes with confidence, that feeling of responsibility of stepping up to the plate that you get that shoulders back, chest out kind of thing, like ‘I’m the man’.

“I’ve been really impressed with him and hopefully that continue.”

While Burnley’s success so far this season has been based on a team ethic, partnerships, such as Ings and Vokes, throughout the side have also been instrumental - such as Jones and Dean Marney in the centre of midfield.

Jones said: “All over the pitch there are good partnerships.

“That’s key to the success.

“I’ve enjoyed playing with Deano and we have complimented each other in games, but also when other players have come in either in place of me or Dean they’ve fitted in and done really well.

“All over the pitch, although in terms of numbers you probably wouldn’t say we’ve got the largest squad in the league, when you look at the bench and some of the players that come on, they make a real impact on the team, so we have got strength in depth I think.

“There are partnerships all over the pitch that are doing well.”

Jones and Marney have hit it off from the former Wolves man’s arrival in the summer, and he added: “Sometimes it’s a bit of luck that you compliment each other in terms of your style of play, but it’s down to the manager and staff to put you in partnership with the right type of player who’s going to help you.

“Partnerships are easier when you’ve got good players as well.

“So you’ve got good players, clever players who are on the same wavelength and you adapt to compliment each other on the pitch.

“That’s what I look to do and I think that’s probably noticeable throughout the team.”

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