HART CAN BE A LION AGAIN
Cork’s backing keeper Joe for England recall
JACK CORK has backed Burnley new boy Joe Hart to prove his critics wrong by forcing his way back into the England set-up.
Hart, 31, marked his Premier League debut with the Clarets by keeping a second successive clean sheet in Sunday’s stalemate at Southampton.
It followed Hart’s impressive start by shutting out Istanbul Basaksehir in last week’s Europa League tie.
And new team-mate Cork reckons Hart – dumped by Gareth Southgate for the World Cup – can revive his international career at Turf Moor.
Cork said: “Joe was quiet in the first half but in the second half we needed him a lot and it was a great performance from him.
“He is a good person to have around the dressing room. He’s got great experience of the Premier League and Europe and at international level.
“He is a good personality, a good guy and fits in well with the lads. It seems like a good match for him and the club and hopefully he can impress and keep improving his career.
“A lot of the signings we do here have a point to prove and that is what keeps the squad hungry, keen to impress and prove people wrong. That is what drives the club.
“You have seen it with Tom Heaton and Nick Pope. If you keep clean sheets, like we do, it is hard to ignore the goalkeeper who is English.
“If he does that and plays well he should get back in the squad.”
Burnley have already played four competitive games this season due to their European adventure.
Cork, whose side host the Turkish outfit in the secondleg of their third-round qualifier on Thursday, insists the competition is a welcome distraction.
He added: “It is early in the season. It is almost like we have done extra pre-season, so we will see if we progress in the competition.
“But at the moment it is not too hard and we have got the squad to deal with it.
“We are really excited. We want to do well in it. We worked really hard to get into it last year, so we want to progress and excel in it.
“A lot of us haven’t played in Europe, so it’s a massive achievement and something we are proud of.
“We don’t see it as a hindrance. It’s something we have always wanted to do and did not think we’d get a chance, so we are glad we did.”
BIG FAN: Jack Cork says Hart can play for his country again TOP TARGET: Danny Ings CREST OF A WAVE: Joe Hart waves to the Burnley fans after keeping out Saints on Sunday