Ben Mee returns to squad after injury

Rapid reunion: Ashley Barnes could face his old club Brighton tonight, less than three weeks after moving north
Rapid reunion: Ashley Barnes could face his old club Brighton tonight, less than three weeks after moving north

Defender Ben Mee is available to return to face Brighton at Turf Moor tonight (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).

The Clarets defend the only unbeaten home record in the Championship this season against Oscar Garcia’s Seagulls - a sequence which stretches back to last March, when Hull returned over the Pennines with the three points.

And Dyche is delighted to have the former Manchester City youngster fit again, although Danny Lafferty has filled in admirably in his absence.

Mee has missed five of the last six games with a niggly thigh problem, and Dyche said: “Ben’s had a good week’s training and I’d consider him back in the frame now.

“We made a judgement call on him ahead of the Sheffield Wednesday game, but he was touch and go, and it turned out to be a good decision.

“But Laffers has done well, to be fair, he’s improved on last year again and is showing good signs of what he can become.

“Left back is a good position for us, with him and Ben, Ben had a good run of very good performances before his injury, but Laffers has come in and done well.”

Ashley Barnes, signed almost three weeks ago from tonight’s opponents, may have to be patient to make his full debut, having twice come off the bench at Yeovil and at home to Sheffield Wednesday last week.

But Dyche is pleased at how well he has integrated into the group already: “Ashley has already found a place to live with his family, and the quicker players settle, the better.

“It’s a big shift, having played down south all his career, so we gave him a bit of time to organise his life, and he’s settled well.”

Barnes knows all about the threat Brighton possess, having played there for four years, but Dyche is well aware: “I don’t think Brighton have radically changed under a different manager from when Gus Poyet was there, they are a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1, and try and be very solid. They are a very good side with good experience, but we’ve certainly made Turf a difficult place to come.

“Every club wants to make their home ground a fortress, and the statistics show we’ve done that.

“Nothing is guaranteed, but it is certainly a tough place to come and get something from.”

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