Jeff ready for Premier challenge
Record signing Jeff Hendrick admits his performances at Euro 2016 give him huge confidence stepping into the Premier League.
But the 24-year-old accepts he has to “prove myself all over again every week” in the top flight.
The UEFA report on the Republic or Ireland’s performance in France singled out Hendrick and Wes Hoolahan as “main creators of chances with solo abilities”, with the Dubliner arguably Ireland’s player of the tournament.
And Hendrick said: “I had a good tournament with Ireland I feel, but that’s done with now.
“I can look back and take confidence from it but this is a new challenge for me in the Premier League, and I’ve got to prove myself all over again every week.”
But he feels it is the right time to make the leap: “Definitely. I’ve played a lot of years in the Championship with Derby and I gave it a good go in trying to get into the Premier League with them.
“There’s been a lot of changes in my time there but when Burnley came knocking, it’s hard to turn down.”
After agreeing the move, Hendrick celebrated with his first Ireland goal in the 2-2 draw with Serbia last Monday, and he smiled: “I’ve been waiting a while, I’ve had a number of assists and a few chances and I came close in the summer.
“It was nice to get the goal and get off the mark, but know I’ve got to try and continue that and score a few more throughout the campaign and help Ireland qualify.”
He hopes to contribute from midfield now with Burnley: “Definitely. You can’t just rely on strikers to score, you need to chip in and that’s what I’ll try and do.”
Hendrick was on the bench against Hull City on Saturday, but is in line for a first start at Leicester City tomorrow, and he looks forward to playing with Steven Defour and Dean Marney: “They played well, Steven got his goal to cap off a good performance, Dean worked tirelessly and put in a great shift for the team. They keep the ball ticking as well. It will be exciting to play alongside them and try and gain some experience from them.”
And he has settled in relatively quickly after a whirlwind few days: “It’s been great. It was a crazy week but once I got in I’ve settled in. I knew a few of the lads already which helped and the dressing room have been great with me.
“I heard Wardy has requested me as a roommate!
“Wardy’s a good lad, I’ve been with him in the Ireland set-up for a while, he was in my ear about signing so I can thank him for that.”