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Cork Aiming For Big Finish

Midfielder wants to get job done and end season on a high

20 April 2019

Jack Cork believes the Clarets are a couple of big results away from another red-letter season at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche’s men are not yet guaranteed to beat the drop and secure a fourth successive year in the Premier League.

But three straight wins have put safety within touching distance ahead of Monday night’s trip to Chelsea.

And Cork believes it will be a job well done if the Clarets can maintain their momentum over a tough final four games.

“It’s not been the best or easiest way to do it, but it has shown we have a lot of good people at this club who will never give up and want to keep going,” said Cork, the Clarets’ midfield metronome who has missed just one top-flight game in two seasons.

“That’s been proven in the last three wins.

“They were games on paper that looked tough, but everyone has stood up and been counted.

“We looked at the fixtures at the start of the season, knowing that we needed to have enough points going into the last four games so that we could hopefully enjoy them.

“We have got ourselves into that position now – although we’re not mathematically safe – where we can go into these games knowing the result may not be the be-all and end-all and we can go to places like Chelsea, and play against Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal, and try and get a result against some good teams.

“There’s no better environment to enjoy these games than the one we’re in at the minute off the back of three wins and if you end up getting a few results in these games, it ends up being a pretty good season.”

The Clarets created modern-day history by starting the season in European competition for the first time in half-a-century.

And while the knock-on effect may have contributed to a poor start in the Premier League, the second half of the season has been more productive than the corresponding stage of 2017/18 as Dyche’s side headed for a seventh-place finish.

“I don’t think there’ll be many seasons in your career you’ll get like last year,” admitted Cork.

“They’re not freak seasons, but everything happened and everything went for us and it was just successful throughout the whole year.

“This season, if we could manage to get a couple of results in these last games, could be as good because of the position we were in at Christmas, below Cardiff and close to Huddersfield with some big games coming up.

“Especially after the Everton loss, everyone got together and said ‘look, we need to do this now or it’s going to be too late’. Everyone got on board with it and it clicked.”

Since losing 5-1 to the Toffees on Boxing Day to sit two points and two places off the bottom of the table, the Clarets have accrued 27 points in 15 games.

And, depending on other results, the Clarets could secure their top-flight status at Chelsea, where a 3-2 win on the opening day of last season lit the blue touch paper for the race to Europe.

“It was an amazing game,” admitted Cork ahead of another return to the club where he launched his career.

“It’s one of those games that sticks in your memory. There aren’t many times when you go to the team that has just won the league and you’re 3-0 up at half-time.

“It was crazy. We went into the changing room at half-time and were looking at each in disbelief.

“We weren’t laughing, but you can’t believe the situation you’re in. It was a great day, a nice hot day in London and a great day for the fans, which sort of set the theme for the rest of the season.”

“I doubt it will be the same sort of set-up on Monday, but it would be great if we could have another memorable day there.”

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