SEAN Dyche believes his midfield maestro’s Jack Cork and Steven Defour have played a key part in the Clarets’ evolution this season.

Burnley have adopted a shift in style this term, with Dyche favouring a three-man midfield and more possession.

Cork and Defour have started every Premier League game together in the middle of the park and they’ve been influential for the Clarets.

And Dyche believes the partnership of 28-year-old Cork and 29-year-old Defour had helped Burnley be better in possession.

“They’ve helped, we want to keep adjusting it, not going a million miles away from what we’re about,” Dyche said. “We’re not saying we’re trying to play like Barcelona or Real. But we're trying to add to another string to our bow. Can we find different ways of operating to affect the game?

“There’s been some signs of that and those two have played a part without a shadow of a doubt, because they can both deal with the ball and they’re on line with the format of the team.”

Burnley won plaudits for their 24-pass move that led to Jeff Hendrick’s winner against Everton, and Dyche was equally impressed with the build-up to the same player’s winner against Newcastle on Monday.

And the Turf Moor chief is pleased with the way his side are evolving this season.

“A manager told me, and he probably got it about right, he said we had changed in a positive way, but not stopped doing the good stuff, the nitty gritty, the organisational work - we’d added another level with the ball and trying to affect the game with the ball,” Dyche said.

“That’s where we wanted it to go to, and that’s where it’s going, but it’s got to continue, and still find that mixed way of playing that is really important.

“The goal against Newcastle was a minute and a half’s work, 20-odd passes, a clearance and pass out, we intercept it, and play from there and score.

“Tactically if you play two midfielders it’s hard for two to play against three, so why not go over them? It’s a lot easier to go over them than play them through, it’s common sense. If we’ve got three in midfield, use them.”

While Cork and Defour have featured together in every league game, Hendrick has tended to adopt a more advanced role.

But Dyche is also pleased with the progress of Ashley Westwood, who impressed in the Carabao Cup exit to Leeds United.

“Westy is just behind them as well, he’s a good player,” he added.

“I think there’s a good group, Steven is more Premier League ready, his fitness has improved considerably, his belief in his fitness has improved, which was a key thing, and he’s delivering good performances.

“We all know he can play, but withstanding the physical challenge of the Premier League can be a big part of it, and he’s more ready for that.

“There’s a good partnership there and Jeff’s doing well just in front.

“We’ve got really good competition and that must continue, because that gives you that edge and drive to keep getting points and wins.”