Ireland's Stephen Ward satisfied he made the right choice

Ireland's Stephen Ward satisfied he made the right choice
Stephen Ward in action for Ireland.

Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Ward has no regrets about snubbing promotion rivals Brighton in favour of joining Burnley 18 months ago.

But the 30-year-old's decision would be further vindicated if Burnley triumph in Saturday's Sky Bet Championship top-of-the-table clash and open up a seven-point gap between the two sides.

Ward, back from international duty having started in the Republic's 2-2 draw with Slovakia on Tuesday, spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Brighton from Wolves before opting to sign a three-year deal at Burnley two summers ago following their promotion to the top flight.

"It's a massive game on Saturday and it's nice to come back when your club is flying," he told Burnley's official website.

"I had a great year down there (at Brighton) and I've nothing but positive things to say about the club.

"I came very close to joining them permanently but Burnley came in at the last minute so I had a decision to make.

"I feel I've made the right one. I've really enjoyed my time here and hopefully now we can finish the job."

Brighton boss Chris Hughton, whose side have won eight of their last 12 league games, knows what to expect from the Clarets.

"They have a very strong team and mentality," Hughton told the club's official website. "You have to be strong enough to beat that and they are top of the league for a reason.

"They have experienced this situation before and they are very well drilled by a great manager in Sean Dyche."

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