SEAN Dyche has hailed the recent form of striker Ashley Barnes with the Clarets' record Premier League goalscorer set to be in the spotlight this weekend.

Barnes will be watched in person by Austria boss Franco Foda at the London Stadium as he considers calling the Burnley frontman into his squad for friendlies with Slovenia and Luxembourg.

Bath-born Barnes qualifies for Austria through his grandmother and having taken his tally in the top flight to 16 last weekend is now very much in the thinking for Foda.

Barnes won one Under-20 cap for Austria in 2008 but his Premier League performances have put him back on the radar and Dyche is delighted what he's seen from the 28-year-old in recent weeks.

"I think overall he continues to mature in his all-round performances. I’m very pleased," the Clarets chief said.

"We have a group who continue to mature in different ways and he’s part of that. He’s done well and earned the right to get recognised like the others who are getting looked at for England, the Irish lads and Vokesy at Wales of course. They have earned the right because of their performances."

Barnes has plundered more Premier League goals for Burnley than anyone else and the £450,000 Burnley paid Brighton for his services in January 2014 is looking more of a bargain by the week.

"It’s a healthy marker. It’s not easy," Dyche said. "I always personally thought the hardest job in the game is being a striker.

"It’s not an easy task and scoring goals in the Premier League is no mean feat. He deserves the credit he has got for the last few weeks and over the season.

"He is in a good patch of form – scoring goals an setting up things. He’s generally been an awkward player to face for opposition sides."

Barnes was still playing non-league football for Paulton Rovers at the age of 17 but Dyche believes his hard graft of getting up the leagues is beginning to pay him back.

Dyche can see comparisons between Barnes and his former Brighton strike partner Glenn Murray, with the two leading the line for the Seagulls in League One seven years ago.

"He is maturing and improving his all-round understanding of the role of a striker," Dyche said of Barnes.

"Sometimes it comes from years of doing it. Glenn Murray is having an unbelievable season. Nobody would have thought that. But his years of doing it and all the things he has learned from the different levels of football (have helped).

"As long as you can keep active mentally and physically they pay you back. Barnsey is going that way. He is learning all the time.

"It’s being out there doing it, day in day out in a good group then week-in, week-out in the Premier League. He’s continuing to mature."

Dyche added: "He’s quite an interesting character. He finds a healthy balance between a professional and all round decent manner off the pitch, and a thorough, hard-working professional on it, and there’s a lot to be said for that.

“There’s different ways to be be active and do a job in football, and he certainly is a very tough customer to play against.

“He plays fairly and appropriately, and he’s a handful for defences to get a grip of."