In over a decade at Turf Moor, Long has played less than 50 league games and it seems very unlikely that he will be adding to that tally any time soon. The Republic of Ireland international currently finds himself behind Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and even Ben Gibson in the pecking order under Sean Dyche.
Long has been left on the bench for five of Burnley’s Premier League games this season and wasn’t even included in the squad for the other three fixtures with his number of minutes standing at a big fat zero.
So it is no real surprise that the 29-year-old, while still a useful member of the squad both on and off the pitch, isn’t entirely happy with how his career is panning out.
“I know they value me at Burnley, I’m valued there. I might not play that much but I’m valued. Obviously I want to play more but it’s not that easy,” said the 12-time Republic of Ireland international.
“For one reason or another it’s not happened but I’m happy, I would just like to get more games. It’s as simple as that. It is frustrating but, as I said, it’s a business at the end of the day.
“If I’m under contract it’s up to the club to not let me go and if the manager likes what he sees, he’s going to keep me.”
According to the Sun (4 August, page 67), Nottingham Forest were keen to hand Long a fresh start before the transfer window slammed shut and a move to the City Ground could have come at the perfect time for a player who should be approaching the peak years of his career.
If Forest are to renew their interest in January, they will surely be pleased to see Long admit his desire for more regular first-team football but, with Joe Worrall, Michael Dawson, Chema and Tobias Figueiredo already fighting for a place in the starting XI, the Championship high-flyers aren’t exactly crying out for any more centre-backs.
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