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Tarkowski Looks To Double Up

Defender aims to rediscover mean streak as Clarets head home to face Watford

25 June 2020

James Tarkowski is looking to re-erect the home defences as the Clarets make their long-awaited return to Turf Moor.

Burnley are back on their own patch for the first time since 7 March when they face Watford behind closed doors this evening (KO 6pm).

The visit of the Hornets – who are currently just one point clear of the Premier League drop zone – comes just three days after the Clarets were given a tough return to action following the lockdown by a match-sharp Manchester City side which rattled up a 5-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.

But Tarkowski hopes more normal service may now be resumed as Sean Dyche’s men, unbeaten at home in the league since New Year's Day, look to complete a double over Watford following a 3-0 success in November when the England international made his presence felt at both ends of the pitch.

Tarkowski goal reverse.jpg

“They are a side that can cause problems, but we need to concentrate on ourselves as much as anything,” said Tarkowski, who scored the third goal at Vicarage Road to help secure a first away win of the season.

“Our squad is not massive at the moment, so we need to make sure people are ready to go and play and put in a full performance over 90 minutes.

“Defensively we have been good all season. Monday night was disappointing, conceding that many goals, but it’s just one of those things when you come up against a team like that.

“We are looking forward to the game on Thursday and hoping for a clean sheet.”

Tarkowksi has so far played his part in 11 shut-outs this season as half of the Clarets’ ever-present defensive partnership with Ben Mee in front of goalkeeper Nick Pope.

They have helped form the bedrock of another seemingly successful mission to further cement the Clarets’ place in the top-flight in a season that will finish later than any other because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Tarkowski Mee FT 1.jpg

That has presented personnel problems for a squad losing three senior members at the end of their contracts and which has also stretched been stretched by injuries.

But despite the changes, Dyche’s side currently sits 12th in the table and his players remain committed to building on what they achieved before the enforced break and looking to make their efforts across the campaign pay off.

“We put ourselves in a great position before lockdown to sort of get ourselves in the top half of the table and we are looking above not down, so hopefully with a few positive results we can chase the people above us,” added Tarkowski.

“It depends on how the teams above us do, but we are going to be looking above and trying to catch up.

“We always take it game by game so a positive result on a Thursday night would mean we can keep chasing the teams above and see where it takes us.

“It’s very close from fifth down to 13th, so there are plenty of positions to play for.”

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