Tuesday 11 December 2018

Boss Dyche delighted with Long's attitude

Burnley’s Kevin Long Pic: Reuters
Burnley’s Kevin Long Pic: Reuters

Patience has paid off for Rep of Ireland defender Kevin Long after he came in from the cold to play his first Premier League game of the season and help Burnley to yet another win in a remarkable season.

There was a cloud over the Clarets camp ahead of Saturday's match at home to Watford, the first game since Robbie Bray's season-ending knee injury.

But Sean Dyche's side put any problems aside and earned a 1-0 win which keeps them in seventh place, level on points with Tottenham and only a point behind Arsenal.

Before Saturday, Long (27) had played just three times this season, once in the World Cup qualifiers (away to Wales) and twice in the League Cup for Burnley,

But Dyche trusted the Cork man with a slot in central defence against the Hornets, in place of the injured Ben Mee, and he contributed to the win with a clean sheet, to his manager's delighted.

"I'm really pleased with Kev," said Dyche.

"It's a funny one for him, he's had to wait a long time for different spells of playing in the team, but he's been working diligently all the time. His professionalism has been outstanding, as has the whole group.

"I just commended them again, we've had to make changes, but these lads work very hard away from playing, and it's very tough, I've been a player and you want to play.

"Sometimes I've had to leave players off the bench even, which you wouldn't want to, but the players deserve a lot of credit for their professional standards.

"When they come in, they're ready to play. Great admiration for the players who aren't playing."

Scott Arfield, who came in for the injured Brady, scored the only goal of the game as Burnley's good run goes on.

"We didn't start very well, credit to them, and then we started to grow into the game and the feeling in the stadium started to change," added Dyche.

"Our players started getting on the front foot, then the sending off makes it different, but it was a thorough performance again and I'm very pleased overall."

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