Kevin Long has set his sights on a more regular role with Burnley after agreeing a new deal until 2021. The Republic of Ireland defender arrived at Turf Moor from Cork City in January 2010 and after six loan spells, which saw him feature for the likes of Portsmouth, Barnsley and MK Dons, has become an increasingly important part of Sean Dyche’s squad.
Long started 16 Premier League games last term, helping the club finish seventh and despite the arrival of Ben Gibson to provide further competition, made three appearances in the Europa League.
The form of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee has limited him to just one substitute outings in the Premier League this term but after concluding the talks that began over the summer, he is now keen to kick on.
While he admits the level of competition in Lancashire makes playing time hard to come by, the 28-year-old, who is currently away with his country, is confident he can start pushing for a more regular place in Dyche’s plans.
“I came back in the summer to go again and I still really enjoy being here and I’m delighted that it will be for another three years,” Long told the club’s website. “Last season I played quite a few games in the Premier League, which is the highest level and where you want to be.”
He added: “I’m not in the team at the moment with Tarky and Ben doing well and so I’ve got to bide my time again. You have to wait for a chance and then try and take it when it comes, which I think I did last season.
“I want to be playing games and I’m not happy when I’m not in the team.
“My main aim is to get in the starting line-up. But you can only pick 11 and I have to be patient and keep working hard. And when the chance comes, I like to think I help the team and I want that to continue.”