Michael Duff praised the performance Nahki Wells and joked he might now have to plan without him after seeing the striker bag a hat-trick.
Wells scored three times in the Clarets’ 4-0 win over Colchester United in the Premier League Cup as he proved his growing match fitness.
And Duff was delighted with the former Huddersfield Town man, who has now played three times in the under-23s to aid his comeback from summer ankle surgery.
“You can see he’s getting his sharpness back,” said the Clarets’ U23s boss. “He scored three, hit the post twice and the keeper has made a couple of good saves. We might lose him now!
“It’s good for him, to get some goals, and it’s good for the lads to see that that is the level they need to get to.
“He stood out today as the best player on the pitch, like he should, but sometimes it’s hard for first team players to come into these games and get themselves motivated.
“All the first team lads since I’ve been here, their attitudes have been brilliant in helping the lads along, so I’m pleased for him.”
Wells will be part of the senior squad on Premier League duty at Southampton on Saturday, with the boost of his first Burnley goals and a further 90 minutes of action behind him.
The 27-year-old was too hot to handle for a Colchester side which was 4-0 down by half-time and also down to 10 men following the dismissal of William Wright for pulling back Wells as he burst into the box.
Wells converted the penalty to wrap up his hat-trick, and with Tinashe Chakwana scoring a spectacular third for the Clarets, Duff’s side bounced back to form in style with a first win in four games and a second successive victory in the group stages of the cup competition.
“It was the polar opposite to the last couple of weeks,” added Duff, who saw his side beaten 6-1 by Sheffield United on their last outing at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium and then lose 2-0 at Crewe in the Professional Development League last Monday.
“They’ve had a tough time in the last couple of games, but we asked for a response and we got it.
“We changed the shape, which might have helped a few of the players, more familiar roles they are more comfortable with.
“I thought we were excellent in the first 10 minutes. The ref maybe didn’t need to send their lad off at 3-0 and with a penalty to come.
“But in the second half I thought we did well just to keep going. Sometimes you take your foot off the gas but we’ve hit the post twice, we kept shifting it, that was the pleasing thing.
“As well as we did with the ball I thought the first 20 minutes was the best part, because we competed, we won headers, we won tackles and we showed quality as well.
“It’s the other side of the game which we’ve probably not done well enough, and if you don’t do that you never get the ball. So, it’s pleasing we tied all that together and the result shows you that.
“Off the back of the Newcastle game (also in the cup), that was one against the head really. This was against a team playing at the same level as us so it’s pleasing.
“It was nice to get the win but the performance after the last couple was the most important thing.”