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Tarkowski: It's A Job Well Done

In-form defender leads case for the defence as Clarets claim another point

29 February 2020

James Tarkowski stated the case for the defence as the miserly Clarets shut out Newcastle United to extend their unbeaten run.

Sean Dyche’s men have now gone six Premier League games without defeat and climbed a place to ninth in the table with a goalless draw at St James’ Park.

And on an afternoon when the Clarets didn’t click going forward, Tarkowksi and his defensive colleagues made sure they wouldn’t travel home empty-handed as Burnley edged ever closer to guaranteed safety with an 11th clean sheet of the campaign and fourth in the last five league games.

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“We have a job to do and today it was job done,” said Tarkowksi following his 100th league start for Burnley.

“A point away from home is always good, especially when you keep a clean sheet, so it’s pleasing overall, even though we’d like to play a bit better.

“We had moments today when I felt we played okay, but we are built on defence and today I felt we did that really well and that’s 11 clean sheets now.”

Neither side had a real clear sight of goal in a scrappy encounter which saw Newcastle fail to find a way through Burnley’s back line in pursuit of only a second win in 10 league games.

That has kept the Tynesiders looking over their shoulders, while the Clarets are now 13 points clear of the bottom three and two points behind sixth-placed Tottenham, who visit Turf Moor next Saturday.

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“If you can’t win it, don’t lose it,” added Tarkowski.

“This is a difficult place to come and there’s teams down there now battling for everything,

“Fortunately, we have got ourselves a little bit away from that group of teams that are fighting to stay in the league, so we know what to expect.

“We have put ourselves in a great position, and although you are never safe until you put the points on the board, we are looking up at the teams above us and trying to chase them.”

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Tarkowski produced another towering performance alongside skipper Ben Mee in the middle of a back four which is giving excellent protection to goalkeeper Nick Pope.

And while England boss Gareth Southgate was at Gallowgate to check on Pope’s form, Tarkowski must also have caught the eye ahead of next month’s international fixtures and the summer’s European Championships.

“I want to impress and the only way I can do that is by playing well on the pitch, so hopefully we can keep putting in performances which catch the eye,” said the 27-year-old, won the second of his two England caps in September, 2018.

“My priority though is my club football and if something international comes my way, I will be more than happy to be included.”

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