KEVIN Long says he will be double checking his passport is up to date after firing the Clarets closer to Europe.

The defender’s first league goal for Burnley was the decisive one in the crunch clash with eighth placed Leicester City, as Sean Dyche’s side moved nine points clear of their nearest challengers in the chase for seventh spot.

Now, as long as Southampton do not win the FA Cup, a Europa League place is becoming increasingly Burnley’s to lose.

“It would be massive,” said Long of the prospect of European football coming to Turf Moor.

“Every footballer wants to play at the highest level, and if you’re playing European football, you’re going to be doing that. And for the fans, you could hear them at the end. The atmosphere was brilliant. They’re all dreaming of European football, so we hope we can get that for them.”

And Long was delighted that his first league goal for Burnley was such an important one.

“I’m delighted. We worked on it during the week in training, so for it to come off and get your rewards is fantastic,” he said.

“It was a massive three points for us.

“We knew coming into the game that Leicester were behind us in the league and chasing that European spot so we knew it was going to be a massive game, and to get the three points is fantastic.

“To score in a massive game like this and win was brilliant.”

And Long said Burnley put themselves in a great position by taking such an early advantage, with the Irishman’s ninth minute goal coming just three minutes after Chris Wood scored his 10th if the season.

“You can’t ask for a better start than that, going 2-0 up, can you?,” said the 27-year-old, who towered above Harry Maguire to head in Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s corner, then played his part defensively in seeing the game out after Jamie Vardy reduced the deficit.

“Obviously in the second half, they knew they had nothing to lose, and were throwing bodies forward, so we had to defend deep and throw bodies on the line, and that’s what we did.

“There are five games to go in the league, now, so we’ll aim to get as many wins on the board as possible and we’ll see where we are at the end of the season. If we’re in Europe, we’ll strive for victories there next year.”

Asked if his passport was up to date in preparation, Long smiled: “I think so, yeah. I hope it is. I’ve got holidays planned for the summer!”

The way things are going for Burnley, though, that break might get cut short with the Europa League beginning in July.