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Tarkowski Makes Turf Return

Defender steps up comeback with successful behind-closed-doors run-out

27 February 2018

James Tarkowski successfully came through 90 minutes and Tom Heaton got another game under his belt in a behind-closed-doors work-out at Turf Moor.

Tarkowski has been out for over a month with a groin problem but stepped up his fitness in a 4-0 win over Preston North End.

Sam Vokes scored with two first-half headers before GK Nkoudou capped an eye-catching performance with a double of his own after the break.

Chris Wood also played 90 minutes for the first time since the knee injury he sustained in December which had kept the striker out until last Saturday’s return to first-team duty on the bench.

And there were also full games for Dean Marney and Nahki Wells as the Clarets dodged the snow flurries to benefit from a highly useful run-out.

North End fielded a side of first-team squad players for a competitive first hour, giving Heaton a couple of tests as the Clarets’ captain continues his return from a five-month absence following shoulder surgery.

The England international got down well to keep out two efforts before the break, one to his right and then one to the opposite side to deny Josh Harrop.

But Burnley led 2-0 at half-time thanks to a brace from Vokes, who nodded in a fine cross from young right-back James Clarke and then followed up to head home after a volley from Wells had been pushed onto the bar by Chris Maxwell.

Nkoudou got his first goal eight minutes into the second half when he shot low into the bottom corner.

And then after North End had changed all 10 outfield players, the on-loan Spurs man delivered another fine finish after running onto a pass from Marney to drill home a low shot.

Burnley: Heaton, Clarke, Tarkowski, Younger, Koiki, Wells, Marney, O’Neill, Nkoudou, Vokes, Wood.

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