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Dyche: Long Sums Up Squad Strength

PUBLISHED

16:32 19th May 2017

Sean Dyche has welcomed Kevin Long's international call-up as the defender looks to finish the season on a high.

Long has grabbed his chance in recent weeks with back-to-back Premier League starts for the Clarets.

His elevation to first-team duty has also earned the 26-year-old inclusion in the Republic of Ireland squad for three summer internationals.

And Dyche believes Long's progress epitomises the attitude in the Burnley squad as he again stands by to deputise for Michael Keane if the England international fails to recover from a calf strain in time for Sunday's finale against West Ham at Turf Moor.

"When I speak to the players who are on the periphery of things I do remind them that things change quickly and that you've got to be ready, you've got to look after yourself and you've got to train properly," said the Burnley boss.

"I'm pleased that the players do here and the culture and the environment protects that.

"He (Long) is a good sign of that. He's come in and played very well and he's been recognised for that.

Long header

"Depending on the injuries, he might get another go on Sunday so he could finish the season with three starts under his belt.

"That doesn't sound a lot, but it is in the Premier League and it is when you haven't played a lot of football this year.

Dyche admits Keane remains a doubt, while Ben Mee is also struggling to recover from a shin injury which has kept him out of the last three games and opened the door for James Tarkowski to lay out his credentials.

"There's a maybe on Keano," added Dyche, who will also give a fitness check to left-back Stephen Ward.

"It's a push with a last game of the season and you don't want people getting injured, so we'll have to wait and see if he's totally right. Ben Mee, I doubt it. 

"There are a couple of knocks and question marks over a couple of other players.

"Wardy is maybe one. I think he'll be all right but we'll find out more tomorrow (Friday) morning."