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Still More To Come From Tarky

Sean Dyche backs England new boy James Tarkowski to get even better

29 March 2018

Sean Dyche expects James Tarkowski to continue to improve as a player after graduating to full England honours.

Tarkowski won his first cap with a commanding mid-week performance in England’s 1-1 friendly draw with Italy.

Dyche was impressed with what he saw from the Clarets’ defender at Wembley as national boss Gareth Southgate weighs up his options for World Cup selection.

The Burnley manager thinks Tarkowski has “a chance” of going to Russia and is confident the best of him is still to come.

Dyche said: “I don’t think it’s easy to play for England, I don’t think it’s easy to make your debut for England at home, I don’t think it’s then easy to play in a (back) three, or in the left of a three.

“When you add all that in – with a new group – I thought he was very good; nice and calm, played steady, organised when he needed to, did the basics very well and just kept his simplicity and did that well.

“There’s more to come from him, I believe, both for us and, possibly, if Gareth uses him.

“But I think he’s a very good player.”

Tarkowski, 25, was joined in the England squad for the back-to-back warm-up games against the Netherlands and Italy by Turf Moor team-mate Nick Pope.

And while Pope didn’t earn a debut, Dyche believes the goalkeeper’s journey is every bit as impressive as that of Tarkowski, having only made his Premier League debut in September.

“I’ve been really pleased with how we’ve handled him and how he’s accepted it, because that’s the key to it, how the players accept their handling of them and what we think’s good for them,” said Dyche of the former Charlton Athletic number-one.

“Popey stayed clear-minded when he was working with the group he was last season, when he wasn’t involved at all.

“We did assure him that he was growing into what we do. At the end of last season we used him on the bench and he got a feel of it.

“This season when he’s been called upon he was ready, and he has delivered very well.”

Tarkowski’s international debut made him the 28th Burnley player to appear for the senior England side.

And the former Brentford centre-back, who joined the Clarets in January, 2016, is now the 17th full international in Dyche’s squad.

“As an Englishman I’m proud that players get called up for England,” added the Burnley boss.

“But I think the numbers have been good for a while now and I think that’s another one of the markers for the squad.

“The quality of the squad continues to raise, whether we are actively trying to bring in players who are already internationals, like Steven Defour etc, etc, or our own players are developing into internationals and I think the mixture is healthy.”

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