SEAN Dyche is delighted with the flexibility of his Burnley squad and believes it has been a key weapon in the Clarets recent success.

The Turf chief alternated between a 4-4-2 and a 4-4-1-1 last season, while also mixing up the style of play within those formations.

That helped Burnley to their highest league finish in 44 years and a return to Europe after 51 years thanks to a seventh place finish.

Dyche has always banged the drum for what he calls 'mixed football', and he insists that has helped the Clarets stay flexible when required.

"The good thing with my belief in mixed football is that you can adapt and you can flex it. I think that’s a good weapon to have," he said.

"There are lots of very high-quality Premier League teams, and some have a really obvious format, only in a tactical sense – that doesn’t mean they’re easy to play against, by the way.

"But they have a style of play and a way of playing that is quite a regular pattern that we’ve seen before. Then, of course, they have high quality players who deliver it.

"I think we’ve had to be flexible, we’ve had to adapt and I think we continue to do so.

"I think it’s important for my group to allow them the best chance to play and the best chance to be successful, and I do believe in it. I think the flexibility of how a team plays and the flexibility of its tactical shape is a good weapon to have."

That flexibility has been enhanced by the Premier League experience the squad have now collected, with the Clarets building on their 16th place finish in 2016/17.

"I think the added maturity is a key thing. Experience at this level is really important," Dyche said.

"Some you can buy in and sometimes you can have players mature into it. There have been good signs of that, of different players adapting to the challenge.

"There are no guarantees but players do get a bit wiser the longer they stay in there, not just to the technical and tactical demands, or even the physical side, but the whole thing in terms of what the Premier League is – the media, the feel around Premier League games, particularly going away.

"Home’s home for a reason. It’s familiar, everyone feels good about playing at home.

"Going away is a different feeling and the more experience you get of that, the more you grow into it. I think our players have done that.

"That has to be respected, because there are no guarantees that takes care of itself for the future. But I do think those players have matured and continue to do so."