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Cork Keeps Lid On Expectations

Jack Cork not losing focus as he prepares to face former club Swansea City

17 November 2017

Jack Cork insists no-one is getting starry-eyed by the Clarets’ spectacular start to the season.

But he is determined to help capitalise on it by racking up more points as quickly as possible to make the first part of Burnley’s task mission accomplished.

Having become the first Burnley team to secure back-to-back top-flight campaigns since the mid-1970s with last season’s 16th-place finish, the initial plan was to make it a hat-trick.

And with 19 points from the opening 11 games – a best start to a season at Turf Moor since 1973 – Sean Dyche’s men have given themselves a great chance of doing that and then pushing on to even bigger things.

“To get up to 22 points with a win on Saturday would be unbelievable,” said Cork as he prepares to face former club Swansea City.

“We didn't predict anything like that when we looked at the fixtures, so to be where we are is a great achievement and good for everyone that has contributed in it.

“We just need to get as many points as we can before Christmas.

“The earlier we can get to the 40-point mark is the best thing we can do. That’s still the main focus.

“The focus since the start of the season was to get those points as quickly as possible and that’s what we’ve got to do.

“We will look at Christmas as the next target and maybe try to get to 30, which would give us a good margin for the rest of the season to push on from there. So another few wins before Christmas would be perfect.

“As soon as you start getting carried away, you get smacked back down. We have to be realistic and stick to what the targets were at the start of the season.”

Cork’s return to Burnley in the summer has coincided with another leap forward by Dyche’s side.

It has also meant a refreshing change for the midfielder, whose recent seasons have started more slowly with previous club Swansea.

Each time, though, the Welshmen have recovered to secure their own survival with a bit to spare.

Jack Cork made 80 Premier League appearances for Swansea

And even though the Swans come to Turf Moor on Saturday struggling again, second from bottom of the Premier League under Paul Clement, Cork insists his former team-mates should not be written off.

The 28-year-old – fresh from winning his first full England cap during the international break – added: "The last two seasons at Swansea had been tough starts for me, so to be in a position like this is great.

“It does take the pressure off, but we know, and I know from experience, that as soon as you start taking your foot off the gas and start enjoying it too much you get punished and smacked back down to earth.

“We need to be really careful. They're a team that will work hard and will be trying to get that win because they're desperate for it. We need to be ready for that.

“They've got world-class players, players that play for their countries, a lot of caps and a lot of Premier League experience and we need to be ready for that challenge.

“It's always hard to get out of it when you've had one or two bad results. It does seem to spread a bit and go around the club.

“They've had two years of those bad starts but they've managed to get themselves out of it quite easily towards the end.

“You just need something to click and something to trigger to get out of it. I'm sure they'll find it and I'm sure it will come along, but hopefully not this weekend.”

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