MATT Lowton believes he has benefited from working alongside experienced Premier League right-back Phil Bardsley this season.

Lowton returned to the Burnley side at the weekend having lost his place through injury to former Manchester United man Bardsley, who did enough to keep his spot when Lowton returned to fitness.

But Bardsley’s hamstring injury has opened the door for Lowton once again and he started his first league game since November 26 in the defeat to Swansea.

While the two men have battled for a starting spot this season, off the pitch Lowton insists he’s learnt a lot from Bardsley, who has played more than 250 games in the top flight for United, Sunderland and Stoke.

“He’s played a lot of games in the Premier League, so for me working alongside him it’s going to help, it’s going to help everyone,” Lowton said.

“You see it in training, he’s always committed, he’s always working hard and it shows over a long career and a long period of time that is how he’s managed to play so many games.

“His attitude towards the game is great, he doesn’t come in and not do things right, it shows to people like me that you’ve got to keep doing it your whole career and never just have the attitude of ‘I’ve played so many games so I deserve to be here’.

“You have to keep on it day in and day out.”

It’s the second time in his Turf Moor career that Lowton has lost his place through injury and had to work hard to return to the side.

When he was signed from Aston Villa ahead of the 2015/16 season he was pencilled in to be first choice right-back, but injury saw Tendayi Darikwa given first run in the shirt and it wasn’t until six days before Christmas that he started his first game for the club.

Lowton wouldn’t relinquish his status as first choice until his injury this year but believes the experience of his first few months at the club benefited him this time around.

“It was a similar situation. It’s down to me not to get good disheartened. To stay on top of my body, keep training hard and keeping myself ready,” he said.

“I show it in my attitude (when I’m out of the team). I can see from the outside that Phil has come in and done well so that’s why I’m not in the team, it’s not through any fault of my own.

“I got injured, that’s football. He came in and did well. I had to just keep working hard and looking for my chance.”

Injuries have hit Burnley hard this season but those coming in from the fringes of the side have tended to impress.

Like Bardsley did on the right Charlie Taylor has taken his chance at left-back, while Nick Pope, Kevin Long and Ashley Westwood have all come into the side at some point this season.

Lowton hails the work ethic in training as key to getting players ready to perform when they get their chance.

“The lads have that in abundance here. A lot of people haven’t played for a lot of the season but have come in and done well, lads like Westy and Longy, even Popey at the start of the season,” he said.

“As soon as they come in they’re ready and that is down to their attitude when they’re not in the team.

“They train hard and they’re ready when called upon.”