Long had to wait two years to feature in the senior squad at Turf Moor, but after loan spells with Accrington Stanley, Rochdale and Portsmouth, the Irish centre-back has revealed that he never lost belief in his own ability.
The 22-year-old told BBC Radio Lancashire: "I've been waiting a long time to get in the starting XI. I'm delighted to be playing at the moment and hopefully we can start picking up a few results now.
"When you're not playing and you're always going out on loan, there's always that doubt [you will not break into the team], but I was confident in my own ability that if I did well out on loan, and performed well when I came back, I'd get my chance.
"I needed all the loan spells. Every one has made me a better player. I think it made me stronger mentally and physically. I had to get used to the pace of the game, because I'd only played a handful of games in Ireland, so I was very raw when I came over."
Long has made five appearances for Burnley in the Championship this season.