STEVE Cotterill has hailed the contribution of Clarets ton-up man Frank Sinclair.

Veteran defender Sinclair will celebrate his 100th Burnley appearance if he gets the nod for tomorrow's Championship clash at West Bromwich Albion.

The all-action 34-year-old was one of Cotterill's earliest signings at Turf Moor, arriving on a free transfer from Leicester City in the summer of 2004.

And the Clarets boss has been nothing but delighted with the attitude and professionalism of the former Chelsea man.

"Frank has been an excellent signing and a great character to have around the place," said Cotterill. "He's very good in the dressing room, with everybody, not just the younger players.

"It's a good milestone. There's a few of them now that have hit that 100-game mark. Michael Duff did that the other week.

"It's all credit to them, because they make themselves available for selection most weeks and, to be fair, with the size of our squad, that's what you need to do.

"You need to have your players that are there and ready and available and he's done that since he's been here.

"I wouldn't say Frank coaches, if you know what I mean, but he talks very well on the pitch.

"More than anything else, he does what he is told. I don't mean that in a schoolboy way, but he joins in with the rest of the back four, whereas you get some defenders who do what they want to do and don't join in with the other three.

"Frank is very much part of the team back there, wherever he plays."

Sinclair, club captain during his first two seasons at Turf Moor, has operated effectively at right-back for much of his stay in East Lancashire.

The Jamaican international spent most of his career in the centre of defence, but Cotterill has never been worried picking Sinclair as full-back.

Cotterill added: "He's played right-back in his career a lot. It's not that he's had to adapt to that. When I was at Leicester, Frank was playing at right-back towards the end of the season.

"I remember away at Arsenal, he did not give Robert Pires a kick and there's not many people that can do that. Frank was first-class that day.

"I don't have any worries with him playing at right-back at all. Sometimes I would like him to get on a little bit more, but at 34 he does fantastic."

Sinclair's Jamaican team-mate Micah Hyde returns from a one-match suspension at The Hawthorns tomorrow, providing Cotterill with food for thought in the centre of midfield.

Teenager Chris McCann slotted into Hyde's position against Championship leaders Cardiff last Saturday and excelled in South Wales alongside James O'Connor.

"I don't think we missed Micah last week," said Cotterill.

"But that's down to how well Chris McCann played because he was excellent."

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