Long: The shackles are off the Clarets in Europa League tie

Defender Kevin Long says the shackles will be off the Clarets in their shoot-out with Olympiakos for the Europa League group stages.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 11:30 pm
Burnley's Kevin Long reacts after being shown the yellow card by referee Istvan Kovacs

It's last chance saloon for Sean Dyche's side in their bid to join the likes of AC Milan, Lazio, Chelsea and Arsenal in the next phase, with the Greek Super League side holding a 3-1 advantage from the tie at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

The Republic of Ireland international has suggested that the hosts will go out with all guns blazing at Turf Moor, giving everything they've got to give themselves a fighting chance, in the hope that the pressure pays off.

"We know what we have to do," he said. "Hopefully we can score an early goal. We want to win the game.

"We can take the shackles off a little bit because we need to attack and score goals and that's what we're going to try and do.

"We have to perform. We need to get on the pitch, put in a good performance and try to score some goals while getting a clean sheet at the other end.

"It's going to be tough, knowing we have to score two goals at least and keep a clean sheet. It's going to be a tough ask against really good opposition but we're going to go out there and give it everything we have. Hopefully that will be enough."

The 28-year-old isn't prepared to let this opportunity of a lifetime slip at the final hurdle. The club's Europa League programme has been key to Long, and other players on the fringe, getting game time.

Speaking about the experience so far, he said: "It's been enjoyable. I've been speaking to all the lads and everyone has been saying the same thing.

"We've been enjoying the journey so far but we want to get to the group stages. We don't want it to end so we know the task that's ahead of us tomorrow and we want to win the game.

"We've visited big cities, played big teams in different stadiums. Everyone's been enjoying it and it's something that we want to continue."

He added: "For the lads who haven't played in the Premier League so far, but have featured in the European competition, it's a chance for them to get more games if the gaffer chooses to stick with us.

"We want to get through and be playing against good opposition in Europe. As a young lad all you wanted to achieve was to play at the highest level. If we get through it will be fantastic.

"We're playing in Europe and it was only a couple of seasons ago that we were playing in the Championship.

"We're within touching distance of making the group stages of a European competition, it's a fantastic achievement and an opportunity we don't want to let slip."