Burnley's running man Jack Cork more than ready for a break from football

Burnley's Jack Cork closes down AFC Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson at the Vitality Stadium
Burnley's Jack Cork closes down AFC Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson at the Vitality Stadium

Burnley midfielder Jack Cork is more than ready for some rest and recuperation ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

The 29-year-old has barely missed a minute of Premier League action for the Clarets over the last two seasons and is renowned as one of the division's leading running men.

The former Chelsea man, signed from Swansea City in the summer of 2017, was one of only five outfield players who didn't miss a minute last term, alongside Alfie Mawson, Harry Maguire, Zanka and Lewis Dunk.

And he's only missed a single fixture in the top flight this season when sitting out of November's 4-2 defeat to West Ham United at the London Stadium.

That means, since starting his third spell at Turf Moor, Cork has played 6,750 minutes in total in the league, out of a possible 6,840.

Not only that, but Cork was also ranked second for the most distance covered of every player in the Premier League during the recent campaign.

The one-time England international, who finished clear of his rivals when covering 450km last season, had led the way right up until the final stretch this term when Luka Milivojevic took over. Cork covered 445.6km, just 1.5km less than that of Crystal Palace's penalty specialist.

Burnley's number four, who also featured in every Europa League tie and both FA Cup clashes, said: "I've only missed one game this year. It's been a long road, especially with our Europa League involvement.

"That added another couple of months to our season but it's been good and I really enjoyed the Europa League. I've enjoyed most of the season, even though it has gone on a while.

"It's been an interesting year after a difficult start. We had a much better second half to the season.

"It was always going to be a tough season this year, our main objective was always going to be to try and stay in the Premier League, even after doing so well last year.

"Fair play to everyone, we've mucked in during that second half of the season. The table doesn't lie, we are where we probably should be, and I'm a big believer that the table is a fair reflection of how well you've done.

"It's been difficult at times, especially the first half of the season. The second half of the season has been great, we've dug in together and stuck together. It was good to be a part of."

Burnley's 15th place finish was the club's second best in the Premier League, adding to the seventh spot they secured in 2017/18.

However, survival in England's top tier will always be the ambition for Cork, regardless of recent successes.

"We'll try and stay in the Premier League again," he said. "It's not going to be easy, the new teams will probably spend some money, the likes of Everton and Wolves will probably spend money, so it's only going to get stronger. It's going to be tough so we'll need a strong start.

"We've got a good squad. There are a lot of great players and we've shown that in a lot of the games this season. We've played some big teams and put up a good fight.

"We know we've got the quality, we just know we need to fight and be aggressive because that's when we're at our best."