Michael Duff believes his young players need to take a leaf out of the first-team book and ‘find a way’ to win.
The Clarets’ under-23s remain bottom of the Professional Development League following a 5-0 home defeat by Birmingham City.
And while a far more experienced Blues team was head and shoulders above the Clarets, Duff expects his side to become more savvy and able to compete.
The under-23s boss said: “They need to learn there are two sides to a game of football. Part of their development is learning to be a little bit nastier and a bit more ruthless with each other, to show a little bit more desire without the ball.
“We’ll learn a lot from that because there were some things that weren’t good enough and we need to learn from that.
“You’ve got to find a way to win, which is what the first-team do better than anybody.”
Two goals just before half-time gave Birmingham a grip on the game they didn’t let go as they continued their recent good run of form.
But Duff was pleased with the contribution of Dwight McNeil following his return to the fold following a taste of the senior set-up.
Ntumba Massanka also showed glimpses of a goal-scoring and Duff felt the scoreline did not fully reflect his side's performance.
He added: “Dwight looks like he’s been training with the first team.
“He looks sharper and he’s doing things quicker because of the demands of training with the first team.
“We are young and we are trying to develop players. I think we have to look at it as a long-term thing.
“It was a disappointing result, although I think there were some positives in it.
“They’ve scored five goals from outside the box, which is strange in itself, and it didn’t feel like a 5-0 where we were getting battered and we were just looking at one end of the pitch thinking ‘the keeper’s making another save and another save’.
“It does hurt, although the result isn’t that important.
“There are all sorts of little factors that come in. We had a few trialists and they were probably on average two or three years old than us. But within that there are things we need to improve on.”