BEN Mee has received a lot of praise since the turn of the year, and deservedly so.

The 29-year-old has contributed greatly to Burnley pulling themselves to safety after earning 28 points this year.

Ex-Claret and England international Michael Keane is one of the people who has praised Mee, along with the Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

“He was excellent. After a tough start for everyone, I think, this season, a bit of confusion, cloudy minds - I still haven’t quite worked it out, because there were so many different things needs altering," said Mee's manager Dyche.

"But he’s been first class, since the turn of the year, not just him - Dwight, Tom, all them, but he‘s been a big part, his performances have got stronger and stronger.

“He was terrific against Chelsea and excellent today, Tarky as well, Lowts, a lot of good performances defensively, but finding that balance in those games is tough.

“They press and work, and finding the calmness to find those moments, our final ball, cross, is a continual theme, to try and get the players to find that ability to find a pass or a finish.

“It’s a constant work in progress, but the shape of the side, the diligence, defensively, they’ve been first class."

The Clarets centre half is competing with a talented set of defenders for a place in the England squad. His defensive partner, James Tarkowski, was in the last international squad and has been capped twice by his country.

Liverpool's Joe Gomez has emerged as a big talent and has six caps to his name while Everton's Keane now has seven.

"It’s hard luck that he hasn’t had a call up really. He’s been brilliant for some years now. I don’t think he can do much more, he’s just got to keep working and one day maybe the call will come. He’ll fully deserve it," said Keane.

"We had Tarky there last time, Heats too. It gives me another reason to look forward to them trips – I get to catch up with them and see how they are.

"They’ve been doing very well. Obviously, the last trip they didn’t play, but they trained really well.

"It’s just a great environment to be in, you try and push you8rself because it’s a great squad of players. It helps you to improve – Tarky and Heats have earned their places there.

"There’s a lot of competition so it’s always hard, you can look at it like that.

"I think the hardest thing is getting your foot in the door at first. He’s been unfortunate that he’s not managed to do that. He’ll have a chance soon, I think."