Sean Dyche has praised James Tarkoswki for his readiness to step into Michael Keane’s shoes at Turf Moor.
The Clarets could come up against injury-doubt Keane at Goodison Park tomorrow for the first time since the defender’s record-breaking move last summer.
Meanwhile, Tarkowski has taken over the void at centre back to put in a string of impressive performances alongside Ben Mee.
And the Clarets boss Dyche is full of admiration for the way his new defensive partnership has settled.
“I have spoken about the work done by my staff and the players themselves taking ownership of their situations and how important that it. Tarky is a great example of that, as is Kevin Long,” said Dyche.
“For 18 months Tarky had to sit and be very patient, with just the odd game here and there.
“But he has kept on working and focused on all the details it takes and piece it together to make sure he can deliver.
“We are all enjoying his performances and I’m sure he is too.”
Keane, along with defensive partner Phil Jagielka are rated doubtful for Sunday’s showdown on Merseyside, where Everton have won two of their last three home games since a stuttering start to the season.
The Blues, however, still only have one league win to their name – and Dyche hopes to dish out another dose of the Blues tomorrow.
He added: “I know their manager has spoken about their apprehension, but It is difficult to mould a team.
“I think they have brought in some very good players but you still have to mould them into what you think is a team that can win.
“That’s a challenge, but they are still a good side and we will still have to work hard and play well.
“I’ve made it clear many, many times that I take all teams seriously no matter what their ups and downs, and when you look at the players on the list and the team they are putting out, they are a decent side.
“It’s just not clicking for whatever reason, so our job is to go and deliver a performance of our own.”