DAN BURN is determined to turn up the heat on his defensive rivals this season as he bids to become a Premier League regular.

The towering centre-half only made three appearances last term for the Seagulls – all in the FA Cup – but has never lost faith in his ability to perform in the top flight.

Burn was bought from Wigan last summer but was immediately loaned back to the Latics before joining up with the Seagulls in January.

Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy proved immovable rocks in a back four on his arrival at the Amex but Burn lined up alongside the duo in a three-man central defence on Friday night as Albion beat Valencia 2-1 to close their pre-season programme.

Burn has never lost faith his chance will come – as long as he keeps working hard.

He said: “Before I joined I said I was coming in to back up the lads.

“But, I have always felt I had the ability to play in the Premier League and I just needed a chance.

“I’ve been working hard and there are some very good defenders in front of me in Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk.

“I’ll just keep pushing them on and, hopefully, I have done enough and if not I’ll just keep going.”

The arrival of defender Adam Webster on a four-year deal from Bristol City for what is believed to be a record transfer fee of about £20 million has added to head coach Graham Potter’s options.

There may be more competition now but the Valencia run-out was Burn’s second consecutive start under Potter and he hopes he has done enough to stake a claim for a place when Albion kick-off at Watford on Saturday.

He said: “I hope I have. I know I’ve given absolutely everything I can to try and get myself in the plans.

“Hopefully that’s enough if it’s not, then it’s not.

“Obviously we will have to wait and see what happens.

“But, I’ve been working really hard just like all of the other lads, and I’ve enjoyed playing all the games that I have played.

“We’ve been getting some good results and we will just have to wait and see what happens next week.”

The 27-year-old has liked being part of a back three in the past two matches, even if it is means more work.

He said: “It was a back three again and I do enjoy it.

“It is a lot more running than if you play in the back two. It’s good the lads have shown they are really enjoying it as well.

“We get a lot of space and time and if it’s done well we can press teams really high.

“Only time will tell if it can work going forward. But it’s been a good showing this pre-season and we’ve had really good preparations.”

Duffy was on the scoresheet again on Friday after he scored the winning goal with a header from a Pascal Gross corner.

The 6ft 6in Burn is delighted for his fellow centre-half and hopes he and Dunk are playing their part in his success.

Burn said: “It’s great, obviously he (Duffy) is so good in the air and it helps when myself and Dunk are in there as well.

“It gives the defence a bit more of a problem of who to pick up, so there is a bit more space for him.

“If we create a space and he can keep heading them in we will take that – and he’ll probably finish top scorer this season.”

Friday’s match was a tribute to Bruno, who retired from playing last season and has taken up a new role on the club’s coaching staff.

Burn has how own reasons for appreciating El Capitan.

He admitted: “There is not enough that can be said about Bruno. He is a great professional and he helped me loads when I first moved to the area.

“Even now in his new position on the coaching staff, the lads love him and I think he’s doing really well. So long may that continue.”