Richard Dunne calls on Burnley's Irish players to prove they want to play Premier League football
Former Republic of Ireland captain Richard Dunne has called on Burnley's Irish contingent to prove that they want to play in the Premier League after the Clarets dropped into the relegation zone.
Burnley have lost six of their last seven matches and have conceded 16 goals during that time with defeats to Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal leaving Sean Dyche's side just two points from bottom.
Ireland internationals Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Kevin Long and Stephen Ward are all with the Premier League strugglers and Dunne has said that the quartet need to prove that they want to play at this level with half the season to play.
"It would be very bad for Ireland if they do go down, with so many of our players in their squad and you want your players doing well in the Premier League, so it’s down to those players now to show they want to play in the Premier League," Dunne wrote in his column in The Herald.
"You can’t think ‘well if we go down another club in the Premier will come in for me’, it doesn’t work like that any more, clubs don’t look to relegated clubs to sign players.
"Robbie Brady has already had one relegation in his time, if he has another one this season with Burnley it would be hard to see a good club taking a punt on him as he’s been relegated twice, clubs want players who can stay in the Premier League."
Burnley are currently 21 points worse off than their tally this time 12 months ago when the club were challenging for European places and Dyche admits that it's been a difficult time for him and his squad but that he's relishing the challenge.
“We’ve had a lot of good times here. It’s the first really tough period we’ve had where a lot of question are being asked from outside and inside – and from me as well,” said Dyche.
“That’s made it harder, but there’s a resilience to being in football and I quite enjoy that side of it.
“When you are at stretch, are you being diligent, are you working to put any questions right and working to find the right mixture?
“Of course, you are and I do enjoy that side of it, albeit it’s nice when it’s going smoothly and it’s somewhat more comfortable.
“You can’t be in this industry and not win that many games and not get questioned. It just doesn’t work like that.
“I’ve built up some credit in the bank here from years of service. But that goes out the window. I totally understand people questioning me, questioning the team, questioning the players, questioning the club.
“There’s a lot to question when things aren’t right. But equally, you have to balance that off. Some of the practices are just the same.
“We took the plaudits when it was going well, so I’m certainly not one to start crying it in when the challenge isn’t going right for us.”