BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche has hailed his squad stars after they impressed in the FA Cup reverse to Manchester City.

The Clarets chief has been forced into changes in recent weeks due to injury with the likes of Kevin Long, Phil Bardsley, Charlie Taylor and Ashley Westwood coming into the starting XI.

The latter made his first start since the League Cup loss to Leeds United when completing the 90 minutes at the Etihad and he won praise from Dyche.

The 27-year-old has had to be patient in his bid for first team football this term but the former Crewe man has still managed 10 appearances for the Clarets this term, even if most have come off the substitutes bench.

He held his own in the midfield against Pep Guardiola’s side and Dyche admitted that Westwood had been unfortunate not to see more minutes given the form of Steven Defour and Jack Cork.

“He has a fantastic mentality, he’s a top class professional, which is why we signed him,” Dyche said of Westwood.

“He’s been unfortunate because the form of Defour and Cork has been very good, (Jeff) Hendrick working in front of them.

“So I think Westy is a little bit unfortunate, not because of his own performances or professionalism, but because they’ve played really well.

“He gave a good account again.”

And it was not just Westwood that impressed Dyche against City.

“Barnesy was terrific, came off the left as he has before for us and at Brighton,” the Clarets chief added.

“Kevin Long will get a lot from that, the quick, clever play, the movement around you, things a centre half who’s not young in years, but is young in his real development at this level, they’re things you learn from, and there’s still more to come from these players.”

Burnley return to the Premier League this weekend with a trip to Crystal Palace and Dyche admitted the form of some of his fringe players means it will be difficult to select a starting XI for the Eagles clash.

Asked after the City defeat whether he had something of a selection headache he said: “I was delighted with that.

“The players are realists, they know where we are, and look at the team they put out - there was a real good energy, good platform to play from with the organisation, countered on them many times, threat from set pieces, and it was only that little, vital period - you concede one, you can’t concede again so quickly, which is where we’ve got to continue to develop.

“Stay focused, tuned in, stick with the basics of the side, until the game calms and you get a foothold again.

“But there’s a balance to that, that doesn’t develop overnight, that’s a time thing.

“These can do that and have done to many sides this year.

“The fitness of some of the lads who haven’t played that much, (Sam) Vokes, Westy, their fitness was good, but the details cost us.”