BURNLEY'S evolution on the ball is a key part of their Premier League development, according to defender James Tarkowski.

The Clarets impressed in possession on the opening weekend, finishing with 52 per cent of the ball and having enjoyed 60 per cent of the first half possession.

Sean Dyche's men were comfortably the better team for an hour at St Mary's and it was their patient passing that created a hatful of chances that particularly caught the eye.

"It’s something we’re always looking at. Most teams will look at us and think we’re quite direct, which we can be, but if we’re direct all the time then people will adjust and know how we play," Tarkowski said.

"We have to change it up and first half we played really well."

While the Clarets are often stereotyped with the direct tag, their passing improved last season and looks to have come on again this pre-season.

"It’s something the manager has mentioned quite a few times, about us improving our play on the ball," added Tarkowski.

"In the Premier League if you just keep giving the ball away it’s tough, teams will punish you, so the more time we spend on the ball the less chance they have of scoring and we can create chances and score goals as well."

Although Burnley had to settle for a point on the opening weekend, having won 3-2 at defending champions Chelsea a year ago, it was a result Tarkowski was happy with, particularly with the Saints finishing strongly when former Claret Danny Ings came off the bench.

"Coming away from home at the start of the season, we obviously made a very good start last year, but I think it’s quite positive," Tarkowski said.

"First half we were terrific, they changed formation and got Ingsy on and he looked lively and caused us a few problems.

"In the end you take the point, but first half we were terrific and could have been one or two up."

Burnley also showed they can cope with the demands of Europe, shrugging off an eight hour round trip to Istanbul to impress less than 72 hours later on the south coast.

"We’re fit lads, we work hard, we’re paid to play football and stay fit and in shape, all the lads have done that in the off season," Tarkowski said.

"We’ve worked hard in pre-season so that when it comes to weeks like this we’re ready to go."