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Happy Tarkowski Hopes For More

Clarets defender thrives on England debut on big Wembley night

27 March 2018

James Tarkowski hopes there is more to come in his England career after rising superbly to the occasion at Wembley.

Tarkowski completed a full 90 minutes on his international debut as he became the 28th Burnley player to represent England’s senior side.

The Clarets’ defender looked made for the task with a highly polished performance, although he was denied a winning start when VAR ruled that the slightest of contact he made on Italian substitute Federico Chiesa was enough to warrant a penalty.

Lorenzo Insigne slotted home from the spot three minutes from time to cancel out Jamie Vardy’s first half strike and secure Italy a 1-1 draw in the friendly, which will be followed by just two more games in England preparations for the summer’s World Cup Finals in Russia.

“I feel very happy overall. Whether you think it’s a penalty or not it’s still disappointing but overall it was a great occasion for myself and my family and a good night for the team,” Tarkowski – comfortable on the ball throughout and a real presence in a back three selected by Gareth Southgate – told Clarets Player HD.

“Although the result wasn’t what we wanted, I thought the performance was good.

“It was a big occasion, but you play all these games in your career to build for nights like this so it doesn’t overwhelm you.

“You just have to enjoy yourself and do what you do.

“To play at Wembley for your country in front of a packed house in games like that, I don’t think you can ask for a bigger occasion.

“If it’s in the summer or over the next few years I’ll be more than happy to play for my country again.

“I’ve had a great nine or 10 days with them and really enjoyed myself and hopefully I’ll get that opportunity again at some point.”

Nick Pope was left waiting for a possible first cap after the Clarets’ goalkeeper was an unused substitute – Stoke City’s Jack Butland taking over the duties from Jordan Pickford who had played in last Friday night’s 1-0 win in the Netherlands.

Pope and Tarkowski now head back to Burnley and will begin preparations for the resumption of the Clarets’ Premier League campaign at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with Sean Dyche’s men looking to stay in the top seven.

“We have got ourselves in a nice position and the opportunity is there to go and put a real mark down to show how good we are and we have the final eight games to show that,” added Tarkowski, whose outstanding season could yet end on a double high.

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