Date: 14th July 2017 at 11:56am
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Stephen Ward was Sean Dyche’s left back last season but the Republic of Ireland international will have further competition at Burnley from Charlie Taylor this time round.

Taylor arrived at Turf Moor on a four year deal this summer and he wouldn’t have joined the Clarets to act as second choice – then again Ward doesn’t aim to give up his place without a battle either.

However, Ward has told the Official Website he knows of the talent Taylor has and wouldn’t expect anything but competition for his place, seeing this as healthy for himself, Taylor and Burnley as a whole.

‘Listen, Charlie is a great young player and he`s had a fantastic few years for Leeds. He`s going to be an asset for this club for years to come and competition is something every player should expect. You can`t be at a Premier League club and not have someone vying for your jersey. That`s no different here at Burnley Football Club, so it`s up to me to go out and put in a performance to make sure I do whatever I can to get the shirt.’

Adding: ‘Charlie will do the same and you`ve seen the team spirit we have here in the last couple of years. Everyone has had their time when they are in and out of the team, but all the while the focus is on the team doing well and making sure we achieve our goal. That`s what is so great about working in an environment like this.’

Left back wouldn’t have been an area some saw as a position needing too much attention but the opportunity to sign the highly rated Taylor couldn’t be turned down with the longer-term in mind.

Ward, 31, still has a few years left in him but Dyche, as you always have to, is looking ahead as well as towards the here and now.

Burnley are well stocked at left back now with the pair set to feature in 45 minutes apiece against Shamrock Rovers this evening.

Looking back to last season’s successful Premier League campaign, where Ward was a standout performer on a consistency basis, the Irish international enjoyed it but also knows it’s about the future now.

Ward said: ‘I felt I had a very good season last season and that coincided with us staying in the league, so you can`t really ask for anything more. But that`s gone now and we are into a new season and it`s time to prove yourself again. It`s the same for everyone, Jon (Walters) has come in and I`m sure the forwards are thinking they need to play on that edge to give themselves the best opportunity (of playing). The manager will pick the best 11 for each game and I`m sure everyone will have a part to play as we look to create history again and look for back-to-back Premier League seasons.’

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