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Long Hungry To Deliver The Dream

Defender hopes fans get European tour after setting up vital win

14 April 2018

Kevin Long hopes the Clarets can go on and deliver the dream of European football after getting within touching distance of potential qualification.

The defender scored his first Premier League goal as Burnley beat Leicester City 2-1 at Turf Moor to go nine points clear of the Foxes in seventh place in the table.

Provided struggling Southampton don’t go on to win the FA Cup that would be enough to get Burnley back into Europe for the first time in half a century and only third time in their history.

And following a fifth successive league win, such a possibility has got the Clarets’ fans singing about a ‘European tour’.

“The aim at the start of the season was to stay in the Premier League. To be on the verge of getting a European spot now is a fantastic achievement,” said Long.

“For the fans it’s massive. You could see towards the end of the game the atmosphere was brilliant.

“They’re all dreaming of European football and hopefully we can get that for them.

“I think at any level five wins in a row is massive. In the Premier League it’s bigger again.

“It’s unbelievable run of form. That’s nine points ahead of Leicester now and at this stage of this season it’s fantastic to be in the position we are in.

“The season is not over yet. We’ve got five games left and we want to win as many of them as possible.”

Long headed Sean Dyche’s men into a two-goal lead inside the first nine minutes after Chris Wood had opened the scoring against his former club with his 10th goal of the season.

Leicester hit back in a bid to keep their own European hopes alive and pushed the Clarets to the limit.

But Jamie Vardy was only able to beat an inspired Nick Pope once, with 18 minutes to go, and a superb defensive effort made sure Long’s second goal for Burnley and first since an FA Cup defeat at Southampton in January, 2014 was enough to secure a seventh home win of the season.  

“To get my first Premier League goal I’m absolutely delighted,” added Long, who powerfully headed home a Johann Berg Gudmundsson corner.

“We worked on it on the training ground. They defend zonally so we knew we would have opportunities at the back post if we could get good deliveries into the box and thankfully I was in the right place at the right time.

“It’s fantastic but the team is first. It was a big game and I’m just delighted with the win. It was a massive three points.

“We came out the traps really well to get two goals in front early on.

“In the second half it kind of went in a way where they had nothing to lose so they were just throwing bodies forward.

“We had to dig deep and as a team we did that and defended really well.

“We had to put bodies on the line and that’s what we did and I think we deserved the victory in the end. Every man worked for that three points today.”

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