"It ain't over 'til it's over" — says Burnley and ex-Brentford defender James Tarkowski

Former Brentford man James Tarkowski is hoping that Burnley’s past experience of fighting in the trenches will count for something in their battle for survival in the Premier League.

By Daniel Black
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 6:00 am

The Clarets, who were relegated back to the championship in 2015 under boss Sean Dyche, have had to scrap it out in seasons gone by, which has earned them the right to perform at this level for six successive terms.

“Experience is obviously key in situations like this and we have a lot of experience in our team,” said Tarkowski, who faces his former club on Saturday. “We feel like we’re one of the fittest teams in the league and one of the strongest so we just want to get out there and play games.”

Burnley are certainly no strangers to the top flight’s bottom three during that spell; However, they’ve never been stuck in the relegation zone at this stage of the campaign, while their points return (21) is the least it has been after 26 games since promotion.

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BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: James Tarkowski of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor on March 01, 2022 in Burnley, England.

With the Clarets trailing the Bees by six points, while holding two games in hand, ahead of the crunch clash at the Brentford Community Stadium, the centre back added: “When you’re in a relegation battle you want as many teams around you as possible, because only three can go down.

“We’ve just got to look out for ourselves, if we put the points on the board then we won’t have to worry about anyone else. For any team, it’s not over until it’s over!”

Tarkowski, 29, who made 70 league appearances for Brentford, netting four times, has made more blocks (42) than any other player in the division, he is third to Bees’ pair Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock for clearances (129) and third to Pinnock and Norwich City’s Grant Hanley in terms of headed clearances (75).

“It’s part of the unit; we thrive on stuff like that, especially against the big teams when they’re expected to create a lot of chances and have a lot of the ball.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: James Tarkowski of Burnley blocks a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on February 08, 2022 in Burnley, England.

“We thrive on those moments in and around the box when we can really put our bodies on the line to stop the shot.”