HART CAN BE A LION AGAIN

Cork’s back­ing keeper Joe for Eng­land re­call

Daily Star - - SPORT - By ALEX CROOK

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.

Ca­reer

“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

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