BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche hailed Jeff Hendrick's performance in the 2-1 win over Fulham and believes the midfielder forms a key part of the Clarets side.

The Irishman has had his critics from supporters since joining for £10.5m from Derby County in 2016.

But he impressed against Claudio Ranieri's side, particularly in the first half, and played an integral role in both of Burnley's goals, even if the final touch came from a Fulham player on each occasion.

Hendrick lined up on the right of midfield with the Clarets without Aaron Lennon and Johann Berg Gudmundsson due to injury while Robbie Brady was suspended.

And Dyche believes the versatility of Hendrick is one reason why he deserves credit.

"I was really pleased (with his display against Fulham)," said the Clarets chief.

"I thought Jeff put a sterling shift in.

“He plays all over the place and continues to play hard and do a great job for us.

"I hope they give him the (first) goal because it was on target.

"Some people give him the odd question mark but we ask a job of him in all sorts of different positions and he’s delivered again. With his play, his work ethic, he has nicked a goal and the own goal - he made the ground up to find himself in that position."

Dyche was also pleased with Ashley Westwood in the middle of midfield with the former Crewe man producing a neat and tidy performance in the engine room.

And the Clarets chief feels Burnley are beginning to find their feet after reeling off a fourth straight win, and three in the Premier League.

“Westy was excellent, two centre-halves were nice and strong," he added.

“We’re getting some way back, even this (win), it doesn’t solve everything but three wins is difficult in the Premier League back to back.

"It’s another big step forward for the mentality and productivity, and I still think we can play better, as we have in the previous two league games."

Despite taking nine points from nine games, the Clarets are just three points above the drop zone ahead of Saturday's trip to Dyche's former club Watford.

Four points separate five sides from Crystal Palace in 14th to Newcastle United in 18th, and Dyche knows plenty of hard work lies ahead for his side.

“It brings a feeling, it encourages the mentality we’ve got," he said of the upturn in form. "There are no guarantees but it is a big shift for us.

“There is still more work to be done. Every game is important in the Premier League, no matter who you are playing.

"Usually you have to play hard right the way until the last game of the season - not last season when we were miles out of it - but I have been really pleased with the last three or four games, with that winning edge."