Midfielder Jack Cork “optimistic” that Burnley can get the job done at either Everton or Leeds United’s expense

Jack Cork knows Burnley would have been staring relegation square in the face had they not benefited from the new manager 'bounce' under Mike Jackson.

The Clarets suffered their first setback of the post Sean Dyche era on Saturday at the hands of Aston Villa, but had previously amassed 10 points from four games to climb out of the bottom three.

Burnley are still outside the relegation zone with three games of the season remaining courtesy of a far superior goal difference to Leeds United, who were beaten at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates.

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“We’re in a great position compared to where we were a few weeks ago," said the midfielder. "If we hadn’t got those wins, we’d be miles off it, we would have been so far off it.

Aston Villa's English striker Danny Ings (R) vies with Burnley's English midfielder Jack Cork (L) during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Aston Villa at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on May 7, 2022.

“We’ve got games to play, and, yeah, we’re optimistic, we're really hopeful we can finish the season well.

“We don’t want to waste that bit of momentum we had and take it into the next games.”

Jackson, who was nominated for the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month award, will oversee another tricky assignment on Sunday as his side travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The squad will find out on Wednesday evening whether they'll be heading down to North London still out of the danger zone with the Whites playing host to Chelsea at Elland Road.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Jack Cork of Burnley battles for possession with Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Burnley and Aston Villa at Turf Moor on May 07, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Regardless of the outcome, however, Cork insists that they can't rely on any favours and will instead have to look after themselves.

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The 32-year-old said: “It’s tough not to watch their games and keep an eye on it, but if we don’t get the points, we go down, it’s as simple as that.

“It’s ultimately down to us whether we stay up or go down and we’ve got to get the points.”

“It’s tough because you find yourself thinking ‘if they drop points here’, but if we don’t win our games, it’ll be our fault.”

Burnley's penultimate fixture of the campaign, on May 19th, is the corresponding clash with Villa and the curtain comes down on the 2021-22 term a few days later as Newcastle United pay a visit to Turf Moor.

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"We’ve just got to knuckle down like we do and get on with it," concluded Cork. "We have three games left and we’ll just crack on.

“We’ve needed to stick together for the last three or four months. It’s been a tough season, a lot of cancelled games. We’ve just got to keep going like we do.

"Football is up and down, but we need to stick together and believe, because we’ve got three big games coming up."