Burnley boss Sean Dyche's respect for Ben Mee and James Tarkowski

Ben Mee and James Tarkowski
Ben Mee and James Tarkowski

Sean Dyche has spoken of his respect for centre back pairing Ben Mee and James Tarkowski.

The pair helped Burnley keep a clean sheet in Saturday's 3-0 opening day win over Southampton at Turf Moor, with Mee leading the side out as the new club captain, while Tarkowski shrugged off a summer of transfer speculation to focus on what he does best.

Mee, who has previously worn the armband in Tom Heaton's absence, has taken permanent ownership after Heaton's move to Aston Villa.

And Dyche explained the thinking behind the decision: "Let's face it, Ben has been captain for a season before, and a half a season last season, so I don't think that is a big drama.

"We know what we think with Ben and I have a lot of respect for him.

"We have a squad of good people and they are people who care and want to work hard, and that factor is as important as anything for me.

"That collective spirit is an important thing.

"They cover each other, their distances were good and we were a good unit at the back."

Tarkowski had been linked all summer long with a big-money move to Leicester City, with the Foxes expected to move as soon as Harry Maguire was sold to Manchester United.

That never materialised, with Burnley under no financial pressure to sell, while Leicester baulked at spending a big chunk of the £80m they have received for Maguire.

Dyche added: "Tarky deserves a big mention, there has been a lot of noise outside of our camp, but to stay focussed on the job, I have total respect for him and I know the fans have, and the club.

"He stayed calm and delivered a good performance."