Jack Cork's hat tip to former club Southampton ahead of Burnley's trip to St Mary's

Jack Cork has doffed his cap in the direction of St Mary's ahead of Burnley's trip to Southampton.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 7:00 am
Jack Cork of Southampton (18) celebrates as he scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary's Stadium on October 18, 2014 in Southampton, England.

The 32-year-old midfielder made 151 appearances in all competitions for the Saints after signing a permanent deal a decade ago.

And he feels he owes Saturday's opponents a great deal of gratitude for the part they played in his career.

Nigel Adkins' side were promoted to the Premier League as Championship runners up in Cork's first season in Hampshire.

Jack Cork of Burnley runs with the ball under pressure from James Ward-Prowse of Southampton during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Southampton FC at Turf Moor on August 10, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom.

Goals from Billy Sharp (16), Jose Fonte (19), Jos Hooiveld (59) and Adam Lallana (63) in victory over Coventry City rubber stamped their return to the top flight.

Cork, who replaced Dean Hammond in the 37th minute on that decisive day of term, says the celebrations have stuck with him ever since.

"I owe a hell of a lot to Southampton, " said the ex-Chelsea man, who won a place in Great Britain’s squad for the 2012 Olympics.

"It was the first club I had after leaving Chelsea permanently and we ended up getting promoted from the Championship that season.

Leandro Trossard of Brighton and Hove Albion is closed down by Jack Cork of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor on August 14, 2021 in Burnley, England.

"That was one of my favourite memories in football. All the fans ran on the pitch, we were playing Coventry at home, winning 4-0, and to have two or three years in the Premier League after that was great.

"I owe a lot to the staff and a lot to the players; we had a great team and it was great to be a part of it."

There'll be no room for sentimentality, however, when the first whistle blows on the South Coast as both Cork and Jay Rodriguez go up against their former employers.

The Clarets are one of just three clubs in the entire Football League without a win at this stage of the campaign.

Newcastle United and Norwich City are the others Ralph Hasenhüttl guided Southampton to their first success at home to Leeds United last weekend.

“We’re in a good place," insisted Cork. "We are creating chances. We’ll hopefully have a game soon where everything we touch goes in, but it’s not going like that.

“We are playing some good stuff. We went to Man City on Saturday and we created a lot of chances. Sometimes we go there and barely have a shot on target, but we had four or five very good opportunities we should have scored from.

“I have a lot of faith in our strikers and our attacking players that they will score goals. They have proven goalscoring records.

“We’re eight games into the season and there are many, many teams that have had starts like this, even us last year.

“You just have to have the experience we have and the trust in the players to know we can get out of it, and I feel we do.”