Belfast Telegraph

Cork’s bubble bursts as Manchester United launch another comeback

Burnley were 2-0 up until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men fought back to force a draw

Jack Cork and his Burnley team-mates left Old Trafford frustrated (Richard Sellers/PA)
Jack Cork and his Burnley team-mates left Old Trafford frustrated (Richard Sellers/PA)

Jack Cork was confident Burnley had sealed a famous win as Manchester United floundered and their fans headed for the exit – but the Clarets were ambushed by a comeback at Old Trafford once again.

Last season Sean Dyche’s men were on the cusp of a first win at United since 1962, only for the hosts to overcome a two-goal deficit and seal a 2-2 draw in stoppage time.

There was more late heartache for Burnley on Tuesday. Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood goals put Solskjaer’s team behind for the first time, yet the Red Devils stormed back through Paul Pogba’s penalty and a stoppage-time Victor Lindelof effort.

Cork started both of those four-goal draws and struck a surprisingly positive tone after suffering more disappointment in Manchester.

“It’s just disappointing that we didn’t manage to hold onto to the 2-0,” he said. “I think it’s the third year we’ve got a draw here and last year (we were) 2-0 up as well.

“You just hope that you can hold and defend. Honestly, it didn’t feel like they were going to score.

“I mean, the penalty gets everyone going and changes the whole atmosphere of the stadium. You could see people leaving with 10 minutes to go and we knew that we were strong.

“It’s just something small like the penalty, which is just the disappointing thing for us.

“We’ll just take the good point and move onto a good game on Saturday.”

Cork’s former club Southampton are the visitors to Turf Moor this weekend as Burnley look to extend a five-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

It has been a striking upturn by Dyche’s side, who have rebooted after a 5-1 Boxing Day loss at home to Everton compounded a poor start to the season.

“I’m not sure, it just sort of feels like we got a big kick from Everton,” he said of the unbeaten league run since. “We lost 5-1.

“I think that was just the bit where we went, ‘look, we need to just go back to basics, do everything we can, work as hard as we can, stay together’.

“To be fair, even though the results haven’t been great, the fans at home have been spot on.

“We weren’t doing very well in the first half of the season and I feel like that they got behind us, and I feel like the team has sort of realised that we were close to being in a position where we were really far off it.

“We’ve managed to turn that around and we realised that and changed it – went back to basics, been aggressive and it looks like it’s changed for the better.”

The change in fortunes has coincided with goalkeeper Tom Heaton’s return to the side, having struggled to break back into the team following a serious shoulder injury.

“When I first signed here, Heats was sort of like the main player at Burnley,” Cork said of a player competing with fellow England internationals Joe Hart and Nick Pope.

“I think he was sort of that person everyone looked at and thought he’s probably one of the best players. He was so unlucky to have that injury where he hurt his shoulder.

“Popey came in and did fantastic and was great as well, then Harty was great and now Heats.

“We’ve got three good goalies, we’ve got great goalkeepers, and Heats has come in and hasn’t put a foot wrong, really.

“I mean, any of the goalies could play and they would be great, but Heats has stepped in as captain as well of the club and set an example for all of us.”

PA

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