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Burnley boss hails Long for bouncing back with impressive Old Trafford display

Sean Dyche was pleased with how the Irish defender performed after the defeat to Tottenham.

Manchester United v Burnley - Premier League - Old Trafford Burnley's Kevin Long tangles with Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

SEAN DYCHE HAS praised Irish defender Kevin Long for his contribution to Burnley’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Manchester United yesterday.

Deputising for James Tarkowski — who’s serving a three-match suspension — at the heart of Burnley’s defence alongside Ben Mee, Long played all 90 minutes at Old Trafford as United snatched a point courtesy of Jesse Lingard’s late equaliser.

Long has earned many positive reviews for his performance against Jose Mourinho’s side, during which he was credited with an assist for Ashley Barnes’ opening goal before making a crucial block to deny Zlatan Ibrahimovic a goal.

It was a much more satisfying day’s work for Long than Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hostpur. Like most of his team-mates, the 27-year-old Corkman endured a difficult outing as Harry Kane fired Spurs to victory with a hat-trick at Turf Moor.

“Really good,” was Burnley manager Sean Dyche’s response when asked about Long’s performance yesterday at Old Trafford, as reported by The Burnley Express.

“He had a tough one the other day, but look at Tottenham. On their day they can hurt anyone, especially with [Harry] Kane in the form he’s in.

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“That’s a big part of his and [Burnley left-back] Charlie Taylor’s development — learning about the Premier League. But the mentality is so important; to go into the next game and say ‘that’s parked, we learn from it and move on’. I was really pleased with that.”

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Turf Moor Long keeping tabs on Tottenham's Harry Kane. Source: Anthony Devlin

Long, who’s Burnley’s longest-serving player, was drafted into the team earlier this month and helped the Clarets to keep clean sheets in the wins over Watford and Stoke City in the absence of Ben Mee, who was injured.

The former Cork City defender is in line to make his fifth Premier League start of the season when Burnley travel to play Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Long got his first taste of senior international football earlier this year in Ireland’s friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay. He was handed a surprise start in the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Austria, and also came off the bench in the 1-0 away win against Wales.

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Paul Dollery

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