Cork '“ We're in a great situation
Burnley's Jack Cork just missed out on the big European nights with both Southampton and Swansea City but the midfielder is dreaming of what could be at Turf Moor.
The England international, who earned his single cap against Germany at Wembley, moved to the Liberty Stadium during the season that the Saints qualified for the Europa League, which was the campaign after the Swans had already featured.
The South Wales side, whose journey in the competition overlapped the tenures of Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk, welcomed La Liga outfit Valencia to their home during the group stages while Serie A opponents Napoli paid a visit in the round of 32.
The Clarets would be required to progress through two qualifying rounds and a play-off to reach the main body of the tournament but a selection of Roma, Lazio, Inter, AC Milan, Villarreal, Sevilla, Sporting CP and potentially Bayer Leverkusen, Lyon, Monaco or Marseille could be waiting if they do.
“I would love to play in it because I’ve never done a European competition before,” said the 28-year-old.
“I would love to do that and I know all the other lads would love to have a good crack at it. We’d all like a good run and I’m sure the fans and everyone involved with the club would as well.
“I think it would be the highlight and I think it would for a lot of other people at the club as well. There have been a lot of good years at Burnley recently and I’m sure the fans are enjoying it.
“They [team mates at Swansea] spoke about the away trips and how hard it was but they’re always talking about how good the nights were.
“They had Valencia, Napoli, they had those big away trips. They are massive moments in players’ careers and fans’ journeys with the football club.
“It can be difficult with some of the trips but it’s worth it when you get the likes of Valencia. It’s a great thing to be doing.
“I would love to do it and I can’t wait. We’ve got to get through the qualifiers first, it’s a long way away, so we’ve got to think about getting there first.”
Burnley need to rubber-stamp their place in the second qualifying round of the competition first with a sixth place finish now looking a bit beyond them.
Should they better both Everton’s and Leicester City’s results in the Premier League this weekend then it would be mission accomplished.
With Brighton coming to Turf Moor tomorrow, Cork said: “I think we’re lucky to know we’re in a good situation which you don’t get very often.
“It’s one of those seasons we’re enjoying, you don’t get many seasons like this so we’ve got to enjoy it and keep pushing and see how far we can go because we might not get another chance as good as this.
“We’ve got two home games and a nice game at the Emirates for Arsene Wenger’s last home game, it’s a good three games to have to finish the season off.
“Hopefully we can finish it in a positive way and enjoy what a good season it has been.
“The lads have kept improving, we’ve surprised everyone, credit to everyone, we work hard, the manager has got good faith in all the players.”