ON-LOAN midfielder Jack Cork remains hopeful a permanent deal can be agreed for him to stay at Burnley beyond the summer.
Cork spent the second half of last season with the Clarets, before securing a season-long loan in August.
And with Chelsea seemingly willing to offload the England Under 21 international, Cork makes no bones of the fact that he considers Turf Moor a home from home.
The 21-year-old made a vital impact in the derby win at Preston on Saturday, spraying the ball out to Wade Elliott before diving to head home a late clincher for his third goal of the season.
Aferwards he spoke of his future: “Chelsea have made it clear they will let me go at the end of the season.
“I haven’t had time to speak to the manager about what happens in the summer since he’s come in.
“Hopefully we can sort something out.
“I really like it here. It’s a good club.”
Eddie Howe is keen to secure his services, but much may depend on whether the club can regain Premier League status.
Howe added: “It’s difficult to say what will happen, Jack is Chelsea’s player and has been excellent for us, but we will have to wait and see on that.
“What I will say is he’s a fantastic professional and a great lad, so while he’s with us, we’re enjoying having him here.”
Meanwhile, Cork reflected on his dramatic winner, celebrated in style in front of the vast away following at Deepdale: “The goal was put on the plate. Wade put in an excellent cross and all I had to do was stick it in.
“I caught it sweet.
“I had a few celebrations planned, but as soon as it went in they went straight out of the window.
“I felt like jumping in the crowd to be honest, when you see everyone going nuts like that.
“To win a derby game with a late goal right in front of your fans is such a good feeling, I don’t think you can get a better one.
“It was a derby game and everyone wanted us to win so to score and look up to see so many people jumping around was superb.”
The goal lifted Burnley to eighth in the Championship table, four points from the play-off places with two games in hand on sixth place Leeds.
The Clarets have now won four and drawn two of Howe’s first seven league games in charge, and Cork feels the new manager has lifted the whole camp: “We needed to put some pressure on the teams above us and get some momentum and we have done that now.
“We sense we are going on the right track.
“We didn’t win an away game until half way through the season and now we are kicking on.
“It seems like we are pushing in the right direction. We have a lot of belief.
“The confidence amongst the lads is really high.
“I’d like to think we could make the play-offs.
“We’ve got two games in hand and if we can get results from them, we’re right in there.
“With all the games coming, I’m sure we can do it.”
It added up to Burnley’s fourth away win of the season, and third from six under Howe.
The Clarets were the only side in the Football League without an away win before victory in Brian Laws’ last game on the road at Barnsley on Boxing Day, and Cork added: “I’m really happy with the whole game. We didn’t play some good football at times, but it shows how far we’ve come from not winning away games all season to not play so well and win a game.
“I think everyone in the dressing room is really happy with how it’s gone.
“Hopefully we can prove our quality and try to kick on.
“We knew we couldn’t go a whole season without winning an away game.
“Hopefully now people will see we can play away, not play so well and get results and hopefully that can be the catalyst for taking us up.
“We’ve got a real good team spirit and it feels like the momentum’s growing to push us on to the end of the season.
“Hopefully if we can carry that on to the next lot of games we can put pressure on the teams above us and they can start dropping points and we can get in their faces.”
Burnley return after what seems an age to Turf Moor to face Crystal Palace on Saturday, and Cork hopes the results away from home inspire more people to roar the side against the Eagles: “It was a good result at Preston, with 5,000 behind us.
“Hopefully they will be happy and it will encourage more people to come to home games because we need them at the end of the season.”