Burnley manager Sean Dyche has confirmed that Irish defender Stephen Ward will be leaving the club this summer after his contract expires.
Ward spent five years at Turf Moor and made over 100 appearances for the Clarets after joining from Wolves in 2014 but only featured 11 times for Burnley this season.
The former Irish international had fallen behind Charlie Taylor in the left-back position at Burnley but was involved in the matchday squad by Dyche for the game against Arsenal on Sunday.
Dyche explained that he included him as he wanted to give the 33-year-old the “respect he’s due” but opted for three attacking substitutions instead of bringing Ward on.
“I had to try and get Wardy on, Wardy won’t be getting a new contract with us. That’s why he was involved. I wanted him involved and to try and get him on, but obviously, we were chasing the win,” said Dyche who left defender Ben Gibson out of the matchday squad to accommodate Ward.
“I said to Gibbo we had to cover Tarky (James Tarkowski) because he hadn’t trained hardly at all after having a little one, and we wanted to keep the strikers and wide players on, so I said to Gibbo I wanted to pay Wardy the respect he’s due.
“He’s been a magnificent servant for us, and Gibbo is a great pro and respected that. We have to make decisions, simple as that. And there will be more over the summer.
“He (Ward) has been brilliant for us, absolutely brilliant, he’s done a fantastic job.”
Ward recently retired from international football this year after winning 50 caps for the Boys in Green over a seven-year stint.