herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Treacy shapes up at Burnley

Clarets boss full of praise for hard work of Irishman

IRELAND international Keith Treacy has been told that he still has a career and a future with Championship side Burnley after getting himself in shape.

Treacy, who won his sixth senior cap under Giovanni Trapattoni against Croatia last year, has struggled at Burnley this season and a run-out as sub against Watford last weekend was only his second league appearance of the season as his future at the club was in doubt.

But manager Sean Dyche has praised Treacy, 24, for getting his act together and getting back into the Clarets side.

"People have a life outside of football life and that's been a challenge for him at times.

"He is putting things right and in place nicely at the moment," said Dyche, who took over at Turf Moor in October.

"Keith has been a little project for us since we got here. He's had his ups and downs, but everyone gets a chance.

"I take opinion and information but eventually I form my own opinions based on what I see. He's worked very hard since we've been here.

"He has done enough over the last five weeks to get himself into a shape that's appropriate.

"He's in shape now, and if he aligns himself clearly with our expectations - and his own - we've got a hell of a player.

"Against Watford we felt it was time he had a little glimpse of it, a little taste of it, and we saw with that pass to Dean Marney what he can offer.

"Certain players are X-factor players and he has that. You can't define how players do certain things but they do them," added Dyche.

Treacy burst onto the scene with Blackburn Rovers four seasons ago, making 12 Premier League appearances for the side, but in 2010 he was sold to Preston in a £1million deal, and he was a Preston player when he made his international debut, appearing as a sub for Keith Fahey in a 1-0 defeat to Argentina.

But Preston offloaded him to Burnley last summer and while he won back his place in the Irish squad by coming on against Croatia in Dublin he struggled for form and was sent on loan to League One side Sheffield Wednesday last season.

Meanwhile, the Burnley boss has praised Irish defender Kevin Long for remaining patient in his bid to succeed at the club. Cork native Long made his full league debut for the Clarets last week - almost three years after he joined the club from Cork City.

"It's funny how football changes. I didn't plan it, but I said to him two weeks ago 'the way you've been training is terrific, the way you've performed in the games we've had is terrific'," said Dyche.

"I said 'sometimes you've got to be patient and then when the chance comes take it' and he gets rewarded with a place.

"I thought he was solid and thorough all game. It's a big occasion for him of course, and he dealt with it nicely."