BURNLEY'S new additions this season have been crucial in helping the Clarets avoid second-season syndrome, according to left-back Stephen Ward.

While many clubs coming up from the Championship survive in their first season and then struggle in the following campaign once Premier League rivals begin to figure them out, the Clarets have moved into another gear.

Sean Dyche's side finished 16th last season, securing top flight survival for the first time in four decades and collecting 40 points in the process, but with eight games to go of their second successive season in the Premier League Burnley have already hit 43 points and sit seventh in the league.

Ward puts that improvement partly down to the new faces and the options they have given the Clarets to change how they play.

"The second season can always be a tough one when teams know a bit more about you, so we’ve done fantastically well," the Republic of Ireland international said.

"The signings the manager has made have given us a bit of a different dimension as well, we’ve been able to have a plan B as well.

"It’s been a good season so far (and) we can finish it on a real high."

While the new signings have been a major factor so too has the man who brought them to the club.

Dyche recently celebrated 250 games in charge of the Clarets and the win at West Ham was his 99th as Burnley boss.

Ward joined the club in the summer of 2014 and said he's 'honoured' to have been involved in the success of recent years, for which he lays plenty of credit at the door of Dyche.

"The new training ground we're in, the Premier League status, since I came in it’s been a real successful period and it’s one I’ve been honoured to be involved in," the 32-year-old said.

"Burnley had just got promoted when I signed. We got relegated but we’ve come back strong, we won the league and know we’re on consecutive seasons in the Premier League.

"A lot of that is down to him and his staff, his hard work and player recruitment, his management and tactics.

"There’s so many good things said about him I don’t know what I can add. He’s been great and we’re lucky to have him.

"Thankfully he’s still here."

Dyche's new signings have strengthened the ranks at Turf Moor and Ward added: "Everyone here has been brought in by the manager, everything he wanted he’s brought in. He deserves tremendous credit for that.

“The squad now is by far the most competitive since I’ve been here. It’s a squad you need to stay in this league and that is down to the manager and his recruitment."

With eight games to go Ward has his eye on that seventh place finish.

"It’s always difficult when you're talking about the six teams above us," he said.

"People have spoken about their being two leagues in the Premier League, the top six and then everyone else, so for us to stay where we are would be a fantastic achievement and it’s something we’d really like to do."