JIMMY Dunne admits he will have to consider another loan move away from Turf Moor if Burnley boss Sean Dyche cannot guarantee him first team opportunities.

The 21-year-old came through 90 minutes for the Clarets Under-23s in Monday's defeat to Sheffield Wednesday having recovered from an ankle injury which curtailed what had been a successful loan spell at Scottish Premiership side Hearts.

The Irishman returned to East Lancashire in November having made 14 appearances north of the border and, having spent the second half of last season on loan with Accrington Stanley, the centre back admits he is keen to keep playing football.

And Dunne, who penned a new deal at Burnley last summer, a second loan switch of the season could be the best option.

"It is going to have to be a conversation now that I feel better and I have got my first 90 minutes in," said Dunne of his immediate future. "It is going to be something that we are going to have to look at."

He added: "I just need to keep trying to find a way to get to the highest level possible.

"I have had a couple of loans where I am progressively moving up the levels slowly but surely.

"I need to keep doing that and if it is not going to happen here then I need to go elsewhere and get the games in again."

Dunne's return to action couldn't prevent the Clarets youngsters from slipping to defeat at Curzon Ashton against Sheffield Wednesday but the defender was just delighted to get his boots back on, even if he was something of an elder statesman in the side.

He said: "I remember Longy (Kevin Long) playing with us in the Under-23s a few years ago and me looking up at him and now there are a couple of the younger lads who I probably look a lot older to now, so it is weird how the tables have turned.

"The lads worked really hard and I felt a bit unfortunate for them because Sheffield Wednesday only had one shot and that went in.

"But the lads dominated the game and they are working really hard and they are doing really well."

Dunne added: "Without looking too far ahead it was about getting back right first and foremost and getting the ankle sorted, getting my fitness back and I think we are on the road to that now. That was the most important thing."

Dunne became something of a fan favourite at Hearts during his spell in Scotland, just as he did at the Wham Stadium with Stanley last season, and believes his time with Craig Levein's side proved hugely beneficial.

"It was a really significant part of my development," he said. "I definitely made the right career choice to go there and play.

"I got a lot of good coaching and got loads of big games in so it will stand me in good stead for the future. I want to thank Hearts a lot for what they have done for me.

"We played in some big games, a Murrayfield semi-final against Celtic and the Rangers games.

"I learned that if you give 100 per cent for the fans and you show that you are passionate and you care and that you really want to be there then they will give you the support back. I did that and tried my best and they gave me support in return."