SEAN Dyche has hailed the 'outstanding' James Tarkowski after the centre back made a dream Premier League debut in the Clarets win over Crystal Palace.

The former Brentford man made his first league start for the club in 14 months and shrugged off being hit on the head by a lighter thrown from the home fans as Burnley celebrated taking the lead to turn in an accomplished display.

The £3million man was in the side as a result of Ben Mee's shin injury, which had forced him off at half-time against Manchester United a week earlier, but Mee could now face a battle to get back in the side as competition for places hots up.

Michael Keane has been a key man at the back for Burnley this season and the 24-year-old remains an ever present through the season, but Dyche was more interested in talking about Tarkowski's display at Selhurst Park.

"Keano often gets the story, but that's Tarky's first Premier League start, I think that's outstanding, to play against someone like Benteke, get hit by a lighter, stay focused, get the job done," the Clarets chief said.

"I'm not interested in talking about Keano because Tarky's been absolutely outstanding.

"If you put all that into a footballer's life, an hour before the game, all these things are going to happen to you, I don't think you'd feel that comfortable.

"But he just played and was outstanding."

The win in south London, Burnley's first on the road this season, moved the Clarets on to 39 points and they can make sure of survival this weekend when they host West Brom at Turf Moor.

It would still take an unlikely set of results to put Burnley back in trouble this season, but Dyche insists his side aren't getting complacent and he has urged them to keep their foot on the gas over the final three games, with a trip to Bournemouth still to come before the season concludes with a home game against West Ham.

"The word survival makes a story, but at the end of the day, you get promoted out of any division, and I have as a player and a manager - your first task is to be in the division ongoing," Dyche said.

"It wasn't about survival, it was about staying in the division.

"People suggest we're there, but we're not.

"We might be, but we have to stay focused and keep working, and we want to keep working - my players should be hungry to get more points on the board, they've given themselves a fantastic platform going into the last three games.

"Go as hard as you can and see what you can get."

The battle for mid-table places in the Premier League remains tight, with three points separating Southampton on 41 points in ninth and Palace in 16th on 38 points. Burnley are in 14th on 39 but with two home games to come can have ambitions of a top half finish.

"That brings the focus into the ifs, buts and maybes, but you have to take on the next challenge, so we'll be ready for the next game, and we'll take that on and see where we are after that," Dyche said.