Stephen Ward has expressed his pride at reaching the UEFA European Championship finals after Martin O’Neill’s men defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina over two legs in the play-offs.
The 30-year-old earned his 30th international cap last Saturday after playing 67 minutes of the first leg in Bosnia.
And despite being an unused substitute in the second leg at the Aviva Stadium, Ward has described the 3-1 aggregate victory as ‘a great achievement’ for his country.
Ward said: “Obviously it’s a great achievement for us, it was a tough few games but it’s really pleasing to get through after a difficult campaign over the last two years.”
“It was nice to play in the first leg, unfortunately I’ve not had a lot of football recently but it’s been good that the last two times I’ve been away I’ve managed to play in two of the games.
“It was even better that we qualified this time and I managed to play some part too.”
As the Clarets gear up to face Ward’s former side Brighton and Hove Albion this Sunday, the defender is keen to build on his one first team appearance this season by training well and waiting patiently for his opportunity if and when it comes.
Switching his attentions away from the upcoming Euros and towards action at Turf Moor, the Irishman has stated that he is desperate for game time at the club.
Sean Dyche’s side are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run and Ward knows he may have to bide his time to dislodge Ben Mee, with competition rife all over the pitch.
He added: “It’s tough sometimes without having much game time but atleast by training hard if you do enter the pitch you are fit and raring to go and that’s all you can do really.”
“The lads are doing great and there are no complaints from me, of course it’s frustrating for a lot of us as everyone wants to play every game.
“But as long as the teams winning and we are all plodding in the right direction then you can’t have too many complaints.”
To watch the full interview with Stephen Ward head over to Clarets Player HD.