​Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes new signing Joey Barton can play a important role for the Clarets during the remainder of the season.

Barton, who played for Dyche's side during their Championship title winning campaign of 2015-16, has re-signed for the club until the end of the season. He was named as Burnley’s Player of the Year during his fist spell at the club, but left soon after for Scottish giants Rangers.

Having been suspended for a training ground incident, Barton had his contract at the Ibrox terminated in November, and was a free agent by the time he signed for Burnley earlier in January. Speaking to ​Burnley's official website, Dyche stated he believes Barton can play an important role for the rest of the season.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley - Sky Bet Championship

"He has shown that he wants to be part of it again. There are no guarantees of how much part he plays but he's in the pack,” Dyche confirmed. "It's a different level of football and he's got to earn the right to get a game first. 

"He'll be well aware of that. The team is certainly going well enough on its own at the moment. But we feel he can be an important part of the squad. 

Burnley v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship

"We know what we have learned over the last few years, that you do need a certain depth to the squad. 

"We certainly haven't got the deepest squad by any means, certainly not in the Premier League, but you do need that depth and you need competition within your group." 

Burnley take on Sunderland in their first FA Cup tie of the season, a game in which Barton is available to play in having served a one-match ban given by the Scottish FA for betting offences while playing for Rangers.

"There's a possibility of changes because I think we've got a deeper squad now and I think there are players who right on the cusp of getting a shirt,” Dyche continued. 

"It's a good chance to see if they are right on the cusp and to see if they can perform and to keep them right for the challenges that come next. 

"There's no thought other than to win a game. Within that, I think there's a group here which can win football matches, whoever we play, for whatever reason. I think there's a belief in the squad here now."