James Tarkowski Relishing Burnley’s Europa League Play Off Against Olympiacos as Group Stage Beckons

​Burnley defender James Tarkowski is relishing the Clarets’ Europa League play off match against Greek giants Olympiacos, with the winners of the tie set for a place in the group stages. 

As reported by the ​Mirror, the England international wants his teammates to keep going, even if their European exploits damage their ​Premier League form. 

Sean Dyche’s men have needed extra time to get past their last two qualifying rounds against Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir, although their last hurdle against Greece’s most successful footballing side will be a different animal. 

Tarkowski, who played a huge role in getting the ​Clarets’ into Europe for the first time in 51 years, said: “It would be a bit of a waste now if we didn’t make it after getting through the first two rounds and going to extra-time twice.

“We want to continue the journey. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be tough at times, but we want to affect it and show what we’re about on a bigger stage.

“These first few weeks have been tough, because it’s been non-stop. We’ve been on a plane every other week — to Scotland, to Turkey and to ​Southampton. It’s not easy, but it’s part of what we’ve got ourselves involved in and we’ve got to enjoy it while we’re in it.”

The 25-year-old centre back, previously of ​Brentford and Oldham, believes the match against Olympiacos will be an incredible experience and will help the club grow. 

Tarkowski, who was playing in League One just three years ago, added: “It’s going to be another great experience. Not many get the experience of going over to Olympiacos and playing them in a European game.

“We’re not going to go over there to enjoy the day. We’re going over to make an impact. We’re looking for a positive result. We’ve not got an easy draw again because Olympiacos have been around European football for years, mainly in the Champions League.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to go there and show what we’re about.”

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