Clarets defender Tarkowski to face late fitness test before getting England green light

Burnley boss Sean Dyche says the club will monitor James Tarkowski's fitness before giving the defender the green light to join up with the England squad.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 8:30 am
Burnley's James Tarkowski vies for possession with Bournemouth's Jefferson Lerma

The Clarets centre back, capped twice for the Three Lions, was named among Gareth Southgate's group for UEFA Nations League games against Croatia and Spain this month.

However, after picking up a knock at the Cardiff City Stadium, which led to his withdrawal against the Bluebirds, the 25-year-old will have to wait to be given the all clear.

Dyche is hoping that the centre back's groin strain will settle in time for him to face Huddersfield Town tomorrow but it could be a last minute decision.

"If he’s clear he’ll go away, if he’s not he won’t," said Dyche. "Gareth and his staff are aware that he’s had a minor situation that we’re hoping will settle down, but he’s not definitely clear.

"Gareth wanted to make it clear he’s one he thinks of. He’s trained on the grass today and we’ll know more today."

He added: "I think he [Southgate] has got good reason to [like him], he’s still developing as a player, still learning and improving and I think it shows to get him amongst that company.

"I think he’s well enough thought of but he’s got to keep playing well, it’s as simple as that."

Tarkowski is one of a number of internationals currently in the Clarets squad and that doesn't come as any surprise to Dyche.

The Burnley boss believes international coaches naturally gravitate towards success, a reason why Southgate was stationed in the director's box at Turf Moor on various occasions last term.

With 15 current squad members representing their nations during Dyche's tenure, he said: "If any club is doing well and you've got a lot of English players then you’re likely to go and watch them because you’ll see more than one player.

"I think it’s a credit to the players that other international managers do keep an eye on our players.

"That must mean the club are doing something right to get those players to be recognised by those different international camps.

"If you’re an international manager you gravitate towards success. If we’re successful and we’ve got five English players then Gareth is probably thinking ‘hang on a minute, let’s go and see them’.

"I imagine there’s a bit of common sense in it, the numbers game."

And Tarkowski is more than deserving of his opportunity. The former Brentford man had to be patient to get on the scene after switching from Griffin Park but good things come to those who wait.

"That’s where he gets most his credit I think, people forget that," said Dyche. "When you come into a side and do really well people sometimes forget the work you did under the radar.

"His professionalism was outstanding when he was waiting his turn, when Keano was doing brilliantly with Ben.

"Tarky had to wait for his chance, but his professionalism was fantastic, his willingness to train and play properly, even in development games, has obviously paid him back.

"When you’re playing every week that’s an easier drug to have, when you’re not playing every week and you have to keep fighting and working to improve, that’s where they get the most credit from me."