Burnley defender James Tarkowski plays down England links

James Tarkowski is not getting carried away with talk of an England call-up.

The Burnley defender, who has not previously represented England at any level, is reportedly in the frame for this month's friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy.

It will be the final chance for Gareth Southgate to assess his options before the World Cup build-up begins in earnest in June, and the England boss was at Turf Moor last Saturday to watch Burnley's victory over Everton, when Tarkowski returned from a groin problem.

The 25-year-old, who also qualifies for Poland, broke into the team at the start of the season following Michael Keane's move to Everton and has helped Burnley to the joint fourth best defensive record in the Premier League.

He said in the Lancashire Telegraph: "We're seventh in the league so there is no surprise that the England manager is here watching players. We'll have to see what happens over the next couple of weeks. There are plenty of lads in good form at our place.

"Everyone wants to get to a World Cup so it would be a good time to break into the squad. I'm not too worried about it, I'm happy enough here playing football week, in week out. If it comes then obviously I would be delighted to represent my country but I'm just happy to be back out there playing football again.

"It's a decision affected by more than how you're playing for your club. There are a lot of people out there playing for bigger clubs who are also doing well. You've just got to focus on your own job and if he decides to call you up for the squad then so be it.''

Goalkeeper Nick Pope, midfielder Jack Cork and Tarkowski's defensive partners Ben Mee and Matthew Lowton could also be in contention.