Jack Cork has highlighted how the Premier League is the toughest league in the world.

The Burnley midfielder added how having four teams in European Cup finals cements England's top flight as the best.

Cork reiterated that avoiding relegation to the Championship will always be Burnley's main priority in a campaign.

"The league keeps changing and it keeps progressing; the athleticism of the players and the quality keeps going up," said Cork - who played in all but one of Burnley's Premier League matches last season.

"That's really clear to see. About 10 years ago you could go to teams like Man City and other top teams and have a lot of the ball.

"That's not the case anymore, they dominate the ball and they've got players who do a lot of running now. The standard has gone up and you can see that from the four teams that are in the European Cup finals.

"The Premier League is the strongest at the minute. With the two teams at the top of the league, on 97 and 98 points, it proves how strong they are. 

"If you look below them the teams are in the European finals. It's difficult to get results against the top sides, but we've given them a run for their money every time we've played them."

Sean Dyche's side finished the season in 15th place - something that was looking unlikely during the Christmas period when the Clarets were firmly in the relegation zone and on a bad run run of form.

"It was always going to be a tough season this year, our main objective was always going to be to try and stay in the Premier League, even after doing so well last year," said Cork.

"Fair play to everyone, we've mucked in during that second half of the season. 

"The table doesn't lie, we are where we probably should be, and I'm a big believer that the table is a fair reflection of how well you've done.

"It's been difficult at times, especially the first half of the season. The second half of the season has been great, we've dug in together and stuck together. It was good to be a part of."

The midfielder acknowledges how his side had a good second half to the season, after a difficult start.

"It's been an interesting year after a difficult start. We had a much better second half to the season, it's just a shame we couldn't finish it off with a win," added Cork.

"We had four tough games to finish the season, but we've shown when we're on it we can play well. There were a few sloppy mistakes and that's when they scored the goals, which is disappointing.

"It's the Premier League, you're playing against some of the best football players in the world. If they get one or two chances they'll score goals. That's what we lacked a little bit in the first half.

"I've only missed one game this year. It's been a long road, especially with our Europa League involvement. 

"That added another couple of months to our season but it's been good and I really enjoyed the Europa League. I've enjoyed most of the season, even though it has gone on a while."