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James Tarkowski explains his mother's illness distracted him from playing

Brentford defender James Tarkowski explains that he refused to play against Burnley 10 days ago because he was distracted by his mother's illness.

Brentford defender James Tarkowski has explained that he refused to play against Burnley 10 days ago because he was distracted by his mother's illness.

The Championship club announced an hour before their 3-1 defeat to Burnley that Tarkowski was not playing, despite being selected by manager Dean Smith.

Now, the defender has released a statement apologising for his refusal and explained that he is seeking a move elsewhere in order to be closer to his ill mother.

Via the club's official website, Tarkowski said: "Unfortunately my mum has a serious, incurable illness and her condition has been getting steadily worse. I live a good four hours away from her and during the autumn, it became clear to me that I needed to get closer to home to support both her and my dad.

"I was open and up front about this with the club, who were sympathetic and said they'd work with me and my agent to try to reach a solution which worked well for the club whilst giving me the possibility to move to closer to my mum. We decided to keep this matter confidential in the best interests of everyone. I decided not to put in a transfer request as we agreed it would be better to work together on this.

"In the run-up to the match against Burnley, I felt completely frazzled and unable to concentrate properly. I felt that to play in the match in this frame of mind may actually do more harm than good. I thought that my distraction may result in an error that would let my teammates and the fans down. After much thought and consultation with the gaffer, my family and my teammates, I felt unable to guarantee my usual standard of performance and said as much to the gaffer.

"I would like to apologise to my teammates, the gaffer and the fans. I hope that you can understand the pressure I was under and that no offence or insult was intended to anyone associated with the club. I have taken the sanction given to me by the club with good grace.

"I would also like to thank everyone who has offered me support over the last ten days, and thank the club for continuing to understand my situation at home. I am still under contract at Brentford and am committed to giving my best for the club, the team and the fans, as I always do when wearing the shirt."

Tarkowski joined Brentford on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Oldham Athletic in January 2014.

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James Tarkowski of Brentford celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Ipswich Town at Griffin Park on August 8, 2015
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