Defender Mee has been ‘the find of the season’ – Barton

Burnley's Ben Mee (right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 12, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Huddersfield. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Burnley's Ben Mee (right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 12, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Huddersfield. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Joey Barton has hailed Ben Mee as “the find of the season” after his run of form since moving to centre back.

Former Manchester City youth team skipper Mee is an ever-present this season, starting every game in all competitions.

But since boss Sean Dyche switched him inside from left back into his prefered position following the Boxing Day loss at Hull City – Burnley’s last defeat – he has helped keep eight clean sheets, as Burnley have won 12 of 17 games – only losing to Arsenal at the Emirates in the FA Cup.

Midfielder Barton, 33, was at City when Mee was coming through the ranks himself, spending 10 years at the club from 1997 to 2007.

The following year, Mee, along with another future Claret Kieran Trippier, helped City win the FA Youth Cup, beating Chelsea.

But Mee left City without making a first team appearance, enjoying a loan spell with Leicester City, under Sven Goran Eriksson, before Eddie Howe brought him to Turf Moor in the summer of 2011.

Barton has been impressed with what he has seen: “All the lads in the back four have been outstanding.

“But Ben’s been an absolute revelation at centre half.

“He’s been a real pleasure to play in front of.

“I remember him at City when I was in the first team and he was on the verge of the reserves.

“Even when I came here, he was at left back, and I remember seeing him in the Premier League playing left back.

“I think the gaffer said he always knew he was going to be a centre half, but for me he’s been the find of the season almost.

“No disrespect to Duffo and the lads who have played in there alongside him, but I just think his level of performance has been of the highest calibre.

“We’re built on solid foundations and I’m just really enjoying my football. It’s an absolute privilege and pleasure to be a part of this. It doesn’t surprise me at all that we do what we do. But we haven’t achieved anything yet.”