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Tarkowski: No Loss Of Momentum

26 April 2017

James Tarkowski insists confidence remains high in the Clarets’ camp as they head for the final four games of the season.

Sean Dyche’s men have won only one of their last 11 Premier League games after testing run of fixtures dominated by away games and with four of the last seven matches against top-six opposition.

Despite that, Burnley remain well placed five points clear of the relegation places with no sense that their push to sustain top-flight is slowing up, according to Tarkowski.

The defender insisted: “People may think that, but the last two games we have lost against Everton and Manchester United are two sides which are right at the top end of the table.

“Just before that we beat Stoke and had some good draws away from home where we probably deserved more out of the games.

“I don’t think we have lost momentum. People might look at the form table and see we have losses on there, but for us, we don’t feel like we’re losing momentum or any less confident than we were three games ago, 10 games ago.

“We are quite solid and we all keep our heads and still believe we’re going to do the job.”

The Clarets’ next test comes at in-form Crystal Palace on Saturday evening, with Palace having virtually assured their safety with six wins in the last eight games.

That run includes victories over Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea but Tarkowski believes the Clarets will prove them with a different sort of test as they look for a first away win of the campaign at Selhurst Park.

“They have had some good wins against some good sides,” he added.

“They have played against some of the top teams in the league, so for them to come up against us will be a different proposition for them.

“They have been playing against teams who play it around the back with a very tiki-taka kind of football, whereas we are not based on that as much. It will be more of a battle for them and we’ll see how they handle it.”

Tarkowski is yet to make his full Premier League for the Clarets with outstanding performances from Michael Keane and Ben Mee keeping the former Oldham and Brentford centre-back out of the starting line-up so far this season.

But the 24-year-old – who replaced the injured Mee for the second half of last Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United - has still played an important role, often coming on to shore up a result in a deep lying central midfielder role.

Tarkowski, signed from Brentford in January, 2016, sees himself more naturally as a defender and still plans to make a major mark at Turf Moor.

He said: “The bigger picture for me when I joined here was Premier League football over the long term, so whether it takes two years, three years to get where I want to be I’m willing to bide my time a little bit.

“It’s not been the easiest to sit and watch most weeks. I’ve had little bits of game time here and there and hopefully there’s more to come.

“I’m still relatively young for a centre-half. There aren’t many young centre-halves of my age playing week-in, week-out in the Premier League and the ones that are, are getting a lot of plaudits, like Keano and a few others around. 

“It’s a long-term process. I didn’t come here to come here and walk into the team and play every week.

“I would have liked to but I’m more realistic than that. Over the coming years I want to get more game time and prove that I can be at this level.”

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