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Friend And Foe For Hendrick

Clarets midfielder aiming to win the 'international battle' at Bramall Lane

1 November 2019

Jeff Hendrick has an added incentive to help the Clarets blunt the Blades when he faces four of his countrymen at Bramall Lane.

Seven members of the preliminary squad picked by Mick McCarthy for the Republic of Ireland’s make-or-break Euro qualifier against Denmark later this month could be involved when the Clarets go to Sheffield United on Saturday.

Hendrick is set to line-up for Burnley, with Robbie Brady and Kevin Long also likely to be in the travelling party.

In the opposite ranks will be United’s Irish quartet of ever-present defenders Enda Stevens and John Egan and the attacking duo of Callum Robinson and David McGoldrick.

Hendrick goal reverse 2.jpg

And Hendrick is determined not to be on the receiving end – with the friends and foes due to meet up as team-mates for international duty just over a week later.

“It makes me not want to lose – they won’t let me forget it!” said the Clarets’ midfield man.

“You want to win even more when you’re playing against someone you know.

“You don’t want to be beaten by a friend, do you?

“You probably see that when you’re growing up. Anything you did with your friends or your siblings you wanted to win.

“It hurts you more when it’s someone you know, so it will be like that at the weekend.”

Hendrick – who has been capped 53 times – is a key man for his country and desperate to help them qualify for a second successive European championships.

Hendrick goal pic PA.jpg

And the 27-year-old is also a big part of the Clarets’ plans, passing 100 Premier League appearances for the club earlier this season.

His century came up in style with a stunning late equaliser when he came off the bench at Brighton in mid-September and since then he hasn’t looked back.

“It was tough. I think everybody knows I found it hard at the start of the season, not playing. I want to play as much as I can,” added Hendrick, the subject of 'active' talks over a potential contract extension at Turf Moor.

“But the lads started the season off great and had some good performances.

“It was tough for me and I just had to keep working hard, keeping myself ready if, firstly, I was called upon and in the back of my mind I knew I had games with Ireland I needed to stay ready for.

“I went away and played a few games with Ireland and then I came back and I have played a good few games since, which I’m happy with and hopefully it continues.”

Hendrick celebration PA.jpg

Hendrick’s versatility – either in a central or wider position – has been a valuable asset, as well as his knack for chipping in with big goals.

Following his point-saver at Brighton he then struck the winner over Everton two games later as Sean Dyche’s men chalked up a four-match unbeaten run.

And he is now looking to add quantity to quality as the Clarets look to get back among the points with a first away success of the season against a Sheffield United side reveling on its return to the top tier for the first time in 13 years.

“I’ve talked about it for years. I want to get more goals and I need to get more goals,” Hendrick said.

“I’ve got a few and I just need to keep going and try and get a few more and help the team out.

“That’s the main thing with the goals I’ve got; helping the team to put points on the board.

“I try to get into the box as many times as I can. Sometimes it doesn’t fall for you, sometimes it does.

“I’ve got it into my head a little bit more this year. I need to be arriving into the box as much as I can and getting onto the end of things.”

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