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Duff Pleased With Youth And Experience

Praise for Marney and McNeil as Clarets hit back to draw 3-3 in Development League

6 November 2017

Michael Duff was pleased to see Dean Marney making his mark back at Turf Moor and Dwight McNeil continuing his emergence as the under-23s drew 3-3 with Huddersfield Town in the Professional Development League.

Attacking midfielder McNeil, 17, scored twice to make it four goals in five league games as the Clarets twice hit back to take a point.

And Marney completed his first full 90 minutes as he continues his comeback from the knee injury that has kept him out of first-team action since January.

“They are important minutes,” said Duff – Marney’s former long-time team-mate.

“It’s a long, old road from where’s come from and he’s got to do it slowly and steadily.

“He’s gradually getting sharper and sharper and I think he ran the game in the second half, so he’s starting to grow into the Dean Marney we all know.”

At the other end of the experience scale, McNeil again impressed as he scored the Clarets’ second and third goals and laid on chances for others.

Duff added: “He’s been excellent. He’s still a scholar and still an under-18, although he’s hardly played a game for them, unfortunately for them and luckily for us.

“He’s a good player. He needs to do certain things better, which he knows, but with the delivery he’s got in his left foot, and he’s got a hammer in there as well, if you get him in the right areas you always fancy him.”

Dwight McNeil is the U23s' top scorer

Despite their fightback, the Clarets couldn’t quite force the win that would have lifted them above the Terriers and off the foot of the table.

And Duff admitted the outcome had left him with mixed emotions.

The Under-23s’ boss said: “I thought we were the better team for the majority of the game, we just gave them three of the softest goals you’d ever see. All three went in in slow motion.

“They have to learn that you can’t give away three goals and expect to win a game.

Dean Marney played his fourth league game for the U23s 

“But, on the other hand we did create enough chances to win two or three games.

“The football was really good and the way we moved the ball, particularly in the second half.

“But the more pleasing thing in the second half was that we got a press on and looked more like a Burnley team.

“The first half was an Academy game. It was like a basketball match, which is unrealistic and is not how we’re trying to get our lads to play, because they won’t have careers if they play like that.

“They took on the information and they delivered in the second half.”

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