Team player Tarkowski happy to help in any role

James Tarkowski sees himself as a central defender in the long term but the former Brentford man is happy to adapt if it means getting minutes on the pitch.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 12:30 pm
Burnley's James Tarkowski takes on Bristol City's Aden Flint Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round - Burnley v Bristol City - Saturday 28th January 2017 - Turf Moor - Burnley World Copyright © 2017 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] -

The 24-year-old was utilised in a more unfamiliar deep-lying midfield role in a 4-5-1 formation as the Clarets overcame Bristol City in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Turf Moor.

Tarkowski has taken up that position on occasions when being introduced as a substitute in the Premier League but admitted that he hasn’t held it for 90 minutes since his time with Oldham Athletic.

Asked if he could fill the holding role on a more permanent basis in the top flight, Tarkowski said: “Yes potentially. I think that’s half the reason why I played there today. It’s given me an opportunity to get some more minutes under my belt and impress the manager in that position.

“I thought I did okay, it’s still quite new to me. I played there when I was younger but not so much recently, more just coming off the bench which is a bit different.

“I enjoyed myself and hopefully I can get more minutes either there or at the back.”

He added: “I think I played there at Oldham once. Most managers ask me if I like it, I don’t mind it but I always see myself as a centre half and that’s where I see my future.

“Right now the two lads at the back have been outstanding this season so I’ll take minutes anywhere at the moment, if that’s in midfield I’ll take it.”

Meanwhile, Tarkowski singled out team-mate Steven Defour after the Belgium international sealed the club’s progression in to the fifth round of the competition with a delightfully executed chip in the second half of the tie against the Robins.

Commenting on that moment of brilliance from the one-time Porto and Anderlecht man, he said: “It was really nice. He’s got that in his locker.

“He’s a talented footballer and you can see on the pitch how good he is.

“He’s very talented, we’ve got a few lads who can do things quite similar. It’s a great goal.

“He had a bit more of an advanced role with my being in there and being the deeper of the three, me and Joey (Barton) give Steven a bit more freedom to get forward which he likes to do anyway and he was rewarded with the goal.”

The cup win was Burnley’s sixth in succession on home soil and Tarkowski is confident that they can extend it against Leicester City.

“Our home record this season has been brilliant,” he said. “We fancy ourselves to beat anyone, especially here. We’re winning games and more wins breed more confidence.”