Jack Cork has defended Burnley’s style, claiming Manchester City and Liverpool are just as aggressive.
Burnley face Liverpool at Turf Moor on Saturday evening and Jurgen Klopp moaned about their “dangerous” sliding tackles after this fixture last season because Joe Gomez broke his leg in a challenge from Ben Mee.
Cork feels Burnley are criticised unfairly for being physical and claims Liverpool and City commit fouls to stop opponents counter-attacking them.
“I didn’t think it was a necessarily bad tackle at the time,” he said. “I see teams all round the league doing tackles like that.
“I think it’s highlighted a little bit more when it’s us. It’s just one of those things we have to deal with and it’s not something that will go away.
“You don’t want to have that label, we’re just trying to play the game like everybody else does.
“If you look at Man City, if you look at Liverpool, if you look at all the top teams who are on the front foot pressing, as soon as they lose the ball high up the pitch, someone makes a foul so they can’t get countered.
“It’s their style of play as well, they’re aggressive, they’re on the front foot, but just in different areas.
“It doesn’t necessarily get highlighted because they have a lot of the ball during the game.”
Burnley have always given Liverpool a fight at Turf Moor and Cork says they are scared by the Premier League’s top sides.
“When you play against the bigger teams the intimidation isn’t really there because you’ve got nothing to lose,” said the midfielder.
“You’ve got a chance to go out there and prove you can match the best. You get to put yourself on that stage alongside the European champions. That’s something to enjoy.”
Cork will be reunited with his former Southampton team-mate Sadio Mane and he is delighted to see him succeed because he says he has every quality as a player.
“As soon as he came in you could see that he’s got a bit of everything – skill, poise, can take players on, but he also wants to do the hard stuff, run back and tackle,” he said.
“That shows in his personality off the pitch too and I couldn’t speak highly enough about him. I think he’s deserved everything he’s got since he made his move.”