SEAN Dyche insists Ben Gibson was well aware it would be tough to shift Ben Mee and James Tarkowski when he made the move to Turf Moor.

The central defender joined Burnley from Middlesbrough in August 2018 for a fee believed to be a joint club record of £15 million.

But the 26-year-old has made just six appearances in all competitions for the Clarets, his only game this season being in the EFL Cup exit at the hands of Sunderland back in August.

With seven goals shipped in the last two games, it could be that his chance comes sooner rather than later, Dyche praising his professionalism and that of Kevin Long, the club’s longest serving player having made just 63 appearances in nearly 10 years at Turf Moor.

“Gibbo’s not naive, he knew Ben Mee, Tarky, that they’re good players, playing well, but he wanted the challenge,” said the Clarets boss.

“And the challenge sometimes comes in that way, Ben Mee has hardly missed a game, and continues to hardly miss a game, so it’s not easy on that score.

“But the players, having been a player, buy into the challenge of whatever is in front of you, and you do it for the right reasons, and he’s certainly done that.

“He came in to make a mark and wants to play, but also knows there’s good players playing as well.

“Longy has been sitting there as well and he’s an international footballer, he doesn’t always play. He’s probably played more than some people think, but he’s probably sitting there the same, he’s been digging it out for years, keeping his professionalism right, his quality levels right, his training right, but gets a handful of games at a time.

“That’s sometimes the challenge of the job, but I think they are also honest players and are respectful of that moment in time, and at the minute, I don’t think either will be questioning Ben and Tarky.

“They’d just go ‘yeah, we get it’, and it doesn’t mean they’re not frustrated, but they’re a very honest group, honest with their own professionalism.

“It’s not that they don’t value themselves either, it’s just they’re looking in and saying ‘yeah, they’re performing well’.”