PHIL Bardsley believes the Burnley backline is now reaping the rewards of a better understanding.

The Clarets have fielded the same back four and goalkeeper in the last nine top flight matches with Bardsley alongside James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Charlie Taylor in front of captain Tom Heaton.

That has coincided with Sean Dyche’s side collecting 18 points and pulling clear of the Premier League’s bottom three.

Defeat at Newcastle on Tuesday was a first in the top flight since Boxing Day but there were impressive performances among the back four, most notably Taylor.

And Bardsley believes the defensive consistency, has helped the rearguard become a solid unit.

He said: “We've got a good understanding and a good relationship, which takes time to build.

“We've been getting used to each other, we've been building and we've got a good understanding.

“There's a long way to go and we need to continue that.”

Bardsley has come back into the side in recent weeks, becoming a fixture since early December, displacing Matt Lowton at right back.

The 33-year-old has made 19 appearances for the Clarets this term and 34 in total since joining the club in 2017.

And the former Manchester United full back is pleased to be in the starting XI.

"That's what it's all about; playing football and enjoying it and trying to win a football match,” he said.

“It doesn't come any better than that. I'm just trying to enjoy it then go home, get my feet up and rest and recover for the next one.

"The performances have been outstanding and if you get those right you've got half a chance of getting results. The starting point was getting back to basics, we've built on performances and the results have come.”