SEAN Dyche has praised the attitude of his three stoppers as he faces a keeper conundrum ahead of the FA Cup clash with Barnsley on Saturday.

Nick Pope is in line for his first Burnley appearance since injuring his shoulder in the Europa League tie with Aberdeen last summer while Tom Heaton, who has played the last two Premier League games, and Joe Hart are also in contention.

Hart has lost his place in the side to Heaton in the last week and Dyche admitted that the former Manchester City keeper was disappointed with the decision, having started every top flight game since joining the club prior to the game with West Ham last week.

“He’s a top class pro and has a lot of respect for Tom and vice versa, they’ve known each other a long time,” Dyche said of Hart.

“He’s not happy, of course, but not happy as an individual. He absolutely wants the team to do well, he’s bought into what we do.

“He didn’t come in under any illusions, and I told him it would be a tough season. I commend him for that.

“A lot of the things that have happened this season have not been down to Joe.

“I tried a few different things and eventually had to change the goalkeeper.

“That’s just the way it goes, but there’s been a lot of things that haven’t been right in front of him at times, and he’s helped us put points on the board.”

Pope has played one game for the club’s Under-23s since his injury and a start against Barnsley would help the 26-year-old build his match fitness as he targets a return to the first team.

And Dyche said the stopper, who enjoyed a remarkable rise last term capped with a call up to the England squad for the World Cup in Russia, has coped well during his injury absence.

“He’s been good, he’s had a really good rehab,” said the Clarets chief. “He had Tom to work with, to bounce off, and he’s got a really good mentality anyway.

“He’s come back in and got stronger and stronger.

“He’s been with us for about a month, and there’s a decision to make this weekend, he’s feeling really good and is clear minded about things.

“He is a top prospect, we always thought he was, but we kept him off the radar while he learned what we were about, the Premier League is about, and we had Robbo (Paul Robinson), who was terrific for us.

“That allowed that learning time, we’ve developed a lot of players, in a way that the process has worked.

“We have not thrown them in too early, making sure they’re right, they know how we work, giving them a feel of how it works in the Premier League, and then they have a feel before they get their real chance.

“You can’t do it always, sometimes players get thrust in with necessity, but I like players to work with the group for a while.”

Keeping all three goalkeepers happy seems an impossible task for the Clarets and, with the January transfer window open, there remains the possibility that one could leave the club.

But asked if any of the trio might depart on loan, Dyche said: “We’ll see. There’s no reason to do that at the moment, other than their reason, which is that they all want to play, of course.”