KEVIN Long insists the hectic schedule of the Europa League will hold no fear for Burnley - thanks to their Championship experience.

Qualification for the competition can often be viewed as something as a poisoned chalice for clubs, with the Thursday-Sunday schedule considered to have a knock-on effect on league results.

But Long believes the Clarets will cope just fine if they seal a place in Europe next season and he believes the club are 'more than ready' to take their place amongst Europe's elite.

Saturday's 2-1 win at Watford extended Burnley's lead in seventh to six points and as long as Southampton don't win the FA Cup a finish in that position will be enough for European qualification.

And Long believes the fact that most of this Clarets squad have spent plenty of time in the Championship will have helped prepare them for the Europa League grind.

"Everyone’s played in the Championship and in the Championship it isn’t much different," the Republic of Ireland defender said.

"The Championship is probably more difficult to be honest because it’s week in and week out.

"A lot of our squad have Championship experience and we won't to be affected by playing Thursday-Sunday here.

"Other clubs maybe, but not here, it will suit us down to the ground.

"The Championship is just relentless, it’s pretty much Saturday-Tuesday through the whole season so you don’t really have a break. You finish a game and you move onto another a couple of days later.

"People complain about playing Thursday-Sunday, but it’s just two games in a week. There’s still a couple of days between the games so I don’t think that will worry us."

Long has enjoyed a fruitful season with the Clarets and his appearance at Vicarage Road was his 10th Premier League start of the campaign when standing in for either Ben Mee or James Tarkowski.

The 27-year-old's rise over the last 12 months has been remarkable and eight years on after moving to Turf Moor from the League of Ireland as a teenager Long now finds himself within touching distance of playing in Europe.

The former Cork City man insists he is ready for the step-up, having also forced his way into the Republic of Ireland squad over the last year, and he believes the club is ready too.

"European football would be massive for me. Everyone wants to be playing at the highest level and to be playing in Europe shows that you can do that," Long said.

"I’ll be ready for it and the club will be ready for it, for sure. Nothing has happened yet, we’ll concentrate on the games until the end of the season.

"We’ve enjoyed the season so far and we want to see it out now and get as many wins on the board as possible."

Long produced the assist for Jack Cork's winner at Vicarage Road as the Clarets made it seven away wins in the Premier League this season.

The centre back hailed a 'gutsy' performance as Burnley came from behind to win for the second time in four games, having not done it their previous 54 Premier League games when going behind.

"Our away form has been really good this season and we carried it on with a really gutsy performance," he said.

"We had to hang in there at times but I thought we defended well and we deserved the win.

"To go a goal behind in the Premier League to any team from away home is going to be tough. We battled well, scored two goals, we had to hang in there at the end and we did that."