CLARETS boss Sean Dyche believes Keith Treacy has the X-Factor.
And he is determined to realise the potential of the Republic of Ireland international, who lost his way under previous boss Eddie Howe.
On Saturday, in the 1-1 draw at home to Watford, Treacy made a late cameo as a substitute for only his third appearance of the season - and first in the league at Turf Moor since February.
Howe signed him from Preston in July 2011, but he started only 19 games in all competitions and ended the season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
A pre-season injury set him back, but on his return to fitness, Howe started him in the Capital One Cup against Plymouth, only to haul him off at half-time and effectively wash his hands of him.
He was training with the development squad until Howe returned to Bournemouth, and he appears to be making the most of his new beginning under Dyche.
He has worked his way back to level of fitness Dyche demands, and the manager hopes to see his undoubted ability come to the fore now: “Keith has been a little project for us since we got here,” said Dyche.
“He’s had his ups and downs, but everyone gets a chance.
“I take opinion and information but eventually I form my own opinions based on what I see. He’s worked very hard since we’ve been here.
“He has done enough over the last five weeks to get himself into a shape that’s appropriate, aligning himself with what we see as important.
“He’s in shape now, and if he aligns himself clearly with our expectations - and his own - we’ve got a hell of a player.”
Dyche has tried to tighten things up and make Burnley hard to beat, but he wants to encourage players with technical ability to prosper within that framework, and he added: “We want him to relax knowing people are behind him, and for people to believe in him.
“There are a group of good technicians. We are trying to tighten the framework.
“I’ve played against him and I’ve seen him develop from a youngster.
“People have a life outside out football life and that’s been a challenge for him at times.
“He is putting things right and in place nicely at the moment.
“Against Watford we felt it was time he had a little glimpse of it, a little taste of it, and we saw with that pass to Dean Marney what he can offer.
“Certain players are X-factor players and he has that.
“You can’t define how players do certain things but they do them.
“But there’s a resolve in people in general, but certainly in footballers.
“People have a flame in them, it’s how bright you can make it burn - giving them the belief and drive to never stop.
“If he wants to be right, we’ve got a big talent. “
Dyche seems to have helped bring out the best of the player, who is still only 24, and Treacy appears to be responding to his prompting.
The manager was questioned at the club’s AGM on Monday night whether he was a fan of sports psychology, but he appears to back his and his staff’s man-management:
“The physical and mental side of the game is very finely balanced.
“But one of my sayings is ‘minimum requirement is maximum effort’, and group psychology can build itself.
“There is a time and place for psychology with certain players, but if you allign the group, they want to follow and build it themselves.
“We’re trying to create a mentality that the game is never over - we’re still going to the last touch of the game, as you saw on Saturday against Watford.”