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Youth Experience Vital To Dyche

26 July 2014

Sean Dyche insists pre-season games are proving invaluable in exposing his young players to the demands of first team football.

Jason Gilchrist, who scored for the second successive game to settle the Lancashire derby at Accrington, was joined in the starting line-up by Tom Anderson, Steven Hewitt and debutant Nathan Lowe.

And Dyche has thrown down the gauntlet to his young starlets to continue their learning curve.

The Clarets boss said: “I know about our group, but there is a learning curve for the younger players.

“We are looking to build a squad, of course, and we are actively in the market for a couple of fresh faces, but this is an invaluable experience for them.

“They need to know where they are in the hierarchy of our own club and today we had two halves, with two mixed groups and, for the young players, playing alongside the experienced players, it’s really good for them.

“They have a lot to learn, but days like this will help with the journey. There is still a big gap, but they have to fill that void and understand the demands they have to place on themselves to get up to first team level.

“The bar has been raised and you are no longer looking to jump into a team that is looking to do well in the Championship; you are looking at a team trying to do well in the Premier League.

“There’s a big difference and it exaggerates the gap somewhat. But it’s their task to keep learning and improving and working hard enough to be certainly recognised by the first team squad.”

Gilchrist’s 73rd minute strike settled an entertaining contest with the League Two hosts.

Ben Mee was withdrawn just before half time as a precaution. But Dyche, who was also without Michael Kightly, Steven Reid, Tom Heaton and Ashley Barnes, played down the significance of their minor niggles.

He said: “All credit to Accrington because they worked very hard and made life very hard and that’s what we need.

“We want that competitive edge to games. There were a few missing today and, like the others, Ben was purely precautionary.

“We have made it clear to the players that we are light on numbers and at this early stage, anything at all, they get off the pitch, so we’re not too worried about him or any of the others at this stage.”

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