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Soccer: Overlooked Tarkowski, Mee deserved England call-up - Burnley's Dyche

(Reuters) - Burnley manager Sean Dyche has expressed surprise that England did not call up the Premier League club’s centre backs James Tarkowski and Ben Mee for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - September 14, 2019 Burnley's Ben Mee celebrates with Jeff Hendrick and James Tarkowski after the match as Brighton and Hove Albion's Dan Burn and Pascal Gross look on Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

England boss Gareth Southgate on Thursday announced his squad for Group A matches against Czech Republic and Bulgaria, calling up central defenders Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings, Michael Keane and Fikayo Tomori.

Tarkowski has not played again for England since making two appearances last year while Mee, a former England youth international, has yet to make his senior debut.

“I don’t get too involved, Gareth can only pick certain players,” Dyche told reporters on Thursday. “I’m surprised given the performances he (Tarkowski) has been putting in but I’ve been surprised by Ben Mee over the past couple of years.

“There are different reasons for managers to like different players and I respect that. It’s not my job to pick the England squad. In my opinion, Tarky or Ben Mee could have been called up.”

England top the group with a perfect 12 points from four matches ahead of the Czechs on nine points from five while Bulgaria are bottom of the standings with two points.

Burnley, who are 11th in the Premier League table, host Everton on Saturday and Dyche said midfielder Jack Cork would miss the match after injuring his shoulder in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa last weekend.

Cork, who has missed only one league game since joining Burnley in 2017, suffered a minor fracture in his shoulder blade in a challenge with Villa’s John McGinn.

“Corky’s got a very minor fracture to his scapula at the back of the shoulder,” Dyche said. “It’s not as bad as it sounds, a few weeks rather than longer, so he won’t make Saturday.

“But it’s settled down well. The medical team said it was highly unlikely he makes this weekend, but it’s not a long-term issue.”

Dyche also said midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who has yet to make his league debut for Burnley after injuring his ankle in an altercation outside a nightclub last month, remains sidelined.

“Drinky is getting back, he’s still not there yet,” Dyche added. “But he’s closer to getting back with us. And when he’s back with us, we can look to get him a game.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris