JAMES Tarkowski was pleased to celebrate his Burnley debut with a win and a clean sheet.

The Clarets’ transfer deadline day £3 million signing from Brentford had been made to wait for his chance to get into the team.


And it came in the first half on Saturday after Michael Keane had to go off with a head injury.

The 23-year-old former Oldham Athletic centre half came on to replace the Championship ever-present to play his part in a 12th shut-out of the season for the Clarets.

And while he feels there is more to come from him this season, with his ball-playing defensive game sacrificed against a direct and physical Rotherham side, he was pleased with the way that his first game went.

“Unfortunately for Keano he’s had to come off and fortunately for me I’ve managed to play,” said Tarkowski, whose last game was more than a month ago for Brentford.

“I was a bit rushed onto the pitch and you’ve got to get yourself going, but the lads made it easy and got me comfortable on the pitch quite early on.

“I managed to get to half time and from there it was back to normal again for me. They play a direct game and it was a lot of winning first contact and if not winning the first one winning the second one.

“It was more of an organisation job. There wasn’t too much one versus one defending to do but as a team and as a unit that’s what we have to work on most and I thought we did quite well.

“They came up and played direct. We dealt with it for the most part but they’re going to win one or two flick-ons and I think most teams will always get at least one chance.

“But we took our chances and they didn’t take theirs.

“We managed to get a clean sheet and I’ve done all right and hopefully I can keep my spot. But the team’s the most important thing and getting promotion.”

Of his own performance, Tarkowski added: “I think there’s maybe a few more strings to my bow from what you saw (on Saturday). I like to give a lot more on the ball than I’ve probably showed. It was quite simple, into the channels as you do, but in certain games you’ve got to do that.

“I like to think I can step out with the ball and cause a few more problems but I just had to keep my game simple.

“It’s never easy coming into a game like that so I did the job that I had to do. But Hopefully over the coming weeks and the coming seasons I’ll be able to show a bit more.”