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Monday 18 December 2017

Long: 'I can play in Premier'

Burnley’s Kevin Long (l) in action against West Brom’s Salomon Rondon. Pic: Reuters
Burnley’s Kevin Long (l) in action against West Brom’s Salomon Rondon. Pic: Reuters

Burnley's Irish defender Kevin Long says he's delighted to be back on the Premier League scene after a 28-month absence.

Cork lad Long was pitched into the Clarets side by Sean Dyche for the weekend clash with Stoke, and he completed the 90 minutes.

That was Long's first appearance for the club since August, when he played in a cup tie, and was also his first taste of Premier League action since January 2015.

On that occasion, Long came off the bench early in the first half away to Newcastle United but cruelly suffered a knee injury and lasted only 20 minutes, so it's been a long road back since then, including loan spells.

"I'm not going to lie, it is frustrating not playing. The only thing you can do is keep your head down and train hard and hopefully your chance comes," he told the club's website.

"All my games have been out on loan so to play in the Premier League is another kind of stepping stone for me to prove to myself I can do it. There's always a doubt in the back of your head, 'can you make the step up?' But I felt okay.

"It's just another box ticked off but there's a lot of work to do on the training ground and I will just keep going.

"It was a long time coming. I was excited to get going and I was delighted to play."

Long has been at Burnley since 2010, when he moved from Cork City, but first team opportunities have been limited and he had eight loan spells.

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