SEAN Dyche hailed Johann Berg Gudmundsson's maturity after the Iceland winger responded to his half-time pleas to be a 'big player' for the Clarets.

Gudmundsson looked like he'd salvaged a point for Burnley against Liverpool on New Year's Day with an 87th minute equaliser, only for the Reds to win it in stoppage time.

But Gudmundsson's first goal of the season capped another impressive individual performance and Dyche has been delighted with the progress of the 27-year-old, who cost just £2.5million from Charlton in the summer of 2016.

“Johann was very good. He stuck at it, he had a bit of a tight calf, I asked him to go and be a big player for us at half-time, and he did again," the Clarets chief said.

“He’s maturing into a very good player, his game is improving all round."

Gudmundsson's fine form of late is another positive for Burnley and Dyche is pleased with the shape his side are in.

“There’s a lot of good signs," he said.

“We’re on 34 points and remember we were second favourites to go down, but we’re delivering a very strong season, coming out of some really tough fixtures with a stretched squad and still delivering performances like that, so I’m disappointed at not getting a point (against Liverpool), but I’ve got to look at the bigger picture and see the good work getting done by these players and how they are moving forward and continuing to progress.

“That’s what we have to do here. We can’t spent all that money and buy them all in, we have to allow them the chance to progress and mature and they’re doing a good job of that."

The Clarets are in FA Cup action this weekend as they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City and Chris Wood could return.

“Woody might have a chance for Saturday, it was too quick (for Liverpool)," Dyche said.

"I had to make a call on Tarky as he only had the operation 11 days ago and Kevin Long had done so well, but it was a good call, Tarky did well.

“Longy has done well, but Tarky has done well for a long period, and everyone has recognised that. He delivered again, and there were a lot of good performances.