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Weatherstone 'Stoked' by friendly win

12 February 2013

Praise for young defenders as Owen nullified

Development Squad coach Simon Weatherstone praised his young charges who kept Michael Owen under wraps to help the Clarets to a 2-1 friendly win over Stoke City.

Owen partnered Mamady Sidibe in City’s attack in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors game at the Britannia Stadium.

But the former England international made minimal impact against a young Burnley back four made up of Luke O’Neill, Joseph Mills, Kevin Long and first-year professional Alex Coleman.

“The experienced lads helped the few Development squad players who played and I thought they equipped themselves very well,” said Weatherstone.

“They adapted very well against the full international opposition they were playing against.

“We didn’t know what their team was. We had a rough idea that it would be a mix of experience and a few Development players.

“But when you come up against one of the most cherished players there has been in the English game in Michael Owen it’s a great test for the lads, especially someone like Al Coleman.

“Owen is someone who has done it at the highest level so it’s a great experience for him and I thought he came through it very strongly.

“Everyone did very well. Kevin Long led it well, it was great to see Millsy breaking from the back and I was really pleased to see Luke O’Neill getting on the ball.”

Alex Coleman

Two first-half goals from Sam Vokes were enough to give the Clarets victory with United States international Brek Shea heading one back from a Charlie Adam after the break.

Vokes later limped off following a bang on the foot, but senior men Brian Jensen, Brian Stock, Marvin Bartley, Martin Paterson and new recruit Dane Richards all completed 90 minutes on a productive afternoon which also saw Cameron Howieson add to his big-game experience.

“All round it was a pretty good performance,” Weatherstone added. “Going in at the break 2-0 we wanted to build on that in the second half.

“It didn’t quite happen straight away and 2-1 looks like a bit of a battle, which it was for a while. But it’s great experience to come through and win.

“Although there’s not three points or a cup victory to show for it at the end of the game, it’s important that the lads put in a good performance because it breeds good habits for when they do it in the real thing in the first team when it really matters.”

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