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Duff Pleased With Battling Performance

U23s' coach praises desire to get all three points as Clarets beat Leeds 1-0

9 October 2017

Michael Duff was delighted to see his side give their all to secure victory over Leeds United at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium.

The Clarets had to dig deep to earn a 1-0 win thanks to Dwight McNeil’s second-half strike.

And after battling all the way to record a second successive clean sheet from Anders Lindegaard – and a third game unbeaten in league and cup – Duff praised the resolve of his young charges, who climbed to seventh spot in the northern section of the Professional Development League .

The U23s’ boss said: “That’s the benefit of having a competitive games programme, when last year it was just friendlies all the time.

“It showed at the end that in the last five minutes the lads are doing all they can to hold on to three points, so that’s the pleasing aspect of it.

“They played like a foreign team really - they kept the ball a lot but didn’t really hurt us.

“We struggled to get a press on them so we changed the formation to try and get a few more bodies in the middle and with the pace we’ve got at the top end of the pitch we looked like hurting them on the counter.

“Another thing we can work on is game management. We’re 1-0 up and we’re still trying to run 100 mph and score a goal rather than just keeping the ball and diffusing the situation.

“But there was lots of positives. In the last 25 minutes last week it was with the ball and the positives this week are without the ball.

“We can do better than that with the ball and we know we have to do that. But like every game, you learn positives and negatives.”

The Clarets did have chances to add a second goal on the break after Duff had thrown on Rahis Nabi and Tinashe Chakwana at half-time to counter Leeds’ five-man midfield.

However, one goal was enough to give Burnley a first win in five league games with an attractive fixture to come at Nottingham Forest on Friday.

It’ll be another experience for them, playing in a big stadium,” added Duff.

“The pitch at Curzon Ashton was excellent, but it will be another experience at the City Ground.

“It will also be travelling on the day of the game, so another thing they have to learn in how to prepare for games.”


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