Clarets defender Kevin Long excited for Sky Bet League One actionKevin Long has described his delight at joining League One outfit Barnsley on a one-month loan deal.
The Clarets defender is now fully on the road to recovery after 11 months on the sidelines through injury.
Having moved to Oakwell on an emergency deal, the robust centre-half could go straight into the Tykes’ side tomorrow away to Oldham.
And the Irishman is understandably excited at stepping up his recovery with competitive League One football.
He said: “I’ve been craving to get out on loan for ages because I’m itching to play.
“The gaffer (Sean Dyche) rang me and told me there was a chance to go to Barnsley and when I heard I jumped at the opportunity really.”
Game time has been limited for Long, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligaments on his Premier League debut at Newcastle United on New Year’s Day.
The former Cork City defender has played in eight Development Squad games since completing his rehabilitation.
And having made just 22 appearances for the Clarets since 2010, he welcomes being loaned out for the fifth time in his career, with the hope of returning stronger than ever his main motivation.
Long told Barnsley Player HD: “I had been out for about 10 months with an ACL injury and I’ve been back for the last three months training hard at Burnley and I think it’s important to get some games to get fresh again.
“The only way you can improve as a player is by playing games and at Burnley we’re second in the league.
“The two lads playing ahead of me in the side are flying, so I can’t really complain.”
“I’m at an age now where I need to be playing games and hopefully this loan spell will benefit me.”
Clarets boss Dyche echoed that sentiment, insisting the club will continue to monitor Long’s progress closely at Oakwell.
He said: “Kevin has had the game time as regards to development games.
“We’re only letting him go out for a month and we’re asking them to knock it on 24 hours at a time, so we can have some control.
“It’s all about getting him game time. The difference between Kevon and thelikjes of Dean Marney is that Dean has played 300-400 games.
“Kevin hasn’t, so we need to get him up to match tempo and this is a good challenge for him as they (Barnsley) are having their fair share of challenges at the moment.”