SEAN Dyche has labelled Burnley captain Ben Mee as a leader like no other as he is set to reach his 300th game for the club today.

Mee made his debut for the Clarets in a 2-2 draw at Turf Moor in August 2011 against Watford – a game which, incidentally, was Dyche’s first game in charge of the Hornets.

And after seven years of working with him as Burnley boss, Dyche has praised the 30-year-old’s professionalism having taken over from Tom Heaton as skipper.

He said: “He’s a leader of his own kind. Vocal leaders are different now, but it’s not like that. He leads with his professionalism, his conduct and his voice somewhat.

“He’s a well-respected figure, similar but different to Tom. Tom’s slightly more vocal but they are respected for the professionals they are. That’s why they are both captains. Ben has taken it on quite naturally in Tom’s absence.

“He’s a thorough professional. He’s got a nice calmness to him – there’s an inner toughness but a calmness. I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s done.”

After initially joining on a season-long loan for the 2011-12 campaign, the former Manchester City man signed permanently for the Clarets in January 2012, Dyche arriving as manager in October of that year.

A former centre back himself, Dyche says Mee always had the qualities to play in the position after he started his career as a left back.

“He’s done terrific in his different guises,” Dyche said in his press conference ahead of today’s trip to Sheffield United.

“He was a young player coming through at left back, deep down I always thought he was a centre half, but he did such a good job at left back. He then moved to centre half and has never looked back really from that shift over.

“Ben’s not the biggest centre half, he’s not the quickest centre half and yet he knows the job like the back of his hand.”

He added: “I like all stories like that – people maximising potential, believing in what they are and what they do against the norms.

“It’s fulfilling the objective rather than worrying about what you are and what you’re deemed to be."