Joey Barton admits he still calls Sean Dyche ‘gaffer’ despite the pair being in opposite dugouts earlier in the week.

The former Clarets midfielder is now in charge of Fleetwood and saw his side go down 2-0 in the pre-season friendly meeting at Highbury.

Barton still has a real affinity with Burnley, and Dyche and the players he played with, after two spells at Turf Moor.

"I have to call him gaffer, because he is my gaffer,” said the 36-year-old.

“But he's a top man, he doesn't insist on it, but I think he'd be a bit put out if I didn't call him it!

"He's a good friend of mine, someone who was my manager and I have an awful lot of respect for. “Off the field, he’s a really good friend, same with Woany (assistant Ian Woan) and the rest of the coaching staff.

"I made friends for life, that isn't always the case in football, and when you do get that, it usually means you've been involved in a special team.”

Barton is entering his second as a manager having guided Fleetwood to 11th in League One last time around.

The former midfielder expected to lean on Dyche for advice as he made his way in the dugout but it didn’t always turn out like that.

Barton said: “I thought Dychey would be brilliant to lean on when we were having a little wobble, how do I do this better?”

“But, to be fair, we started really well and they didn't, so I ended up counselling him for the first couple of months!

"I said surely this should be the other way round, you should be picking me up on a Monday morning!

"But when we were talking, I was just saying ' be you, that's all you need to be', the culture is so solid, I see the way they train, I know the people involved, they had the European thing, and it was only a matter of time before it dropped in, knowing the character there.”

Barton never had any doubt the Clarets would secure a fourth straight season in the top flight and anticipates an exciting season ahead at Turf Moor.

"I was, from a distance, probably the only one not worried,” he said.

“I know there were some Burnley fans  and maybe some voices in the media slightly concerned, but I just know how solid their foundation is, and when you add the quality of player they've got to a phenomenal culture, it's no reason for them not to be successful.

"Just think of the job Dychey has done, where the club was, where it is, training ground, budgets etc.

"It's exciting times for Burnley fans, you look again and I think they'll be absolutely fine.

“You're looking and thinking can they break into that top 10 more consistently, with the talent they've got? And you see no reason why not.”