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Duff Glad To End 'Tough Run'

Clarets back to winning ways with impressive performance against Forest

8 March 2018

Michael Duff was delighted to emerge from a “tough run” as the under-23s got back to winning ways with an impressive 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest.

The Clarets had gone five games without a win or a goal in all competitions and hadn’t tasted victory in the U23 Professional Development League since November.

But a recent upturn in performances bought a fitting reward as Duff’s side secured a fourth league success thanks to goals from Tunde Bayode, Christian N’Guessan and a first at under-23 level for defender James Clarke.

“It’s been a tough run, there’s no getting away from it,” said the Clarets’ under-23 boss.

“No-one likes losing football matches. As much as you can say it’s about development it still hurts them and it should hurt them.

“They’ve come up against some good teams and I’ve said a lot, we’ve been playing against older teams.

“Tonight they were slightly younger, so it was a similar sort of age and it does make a big difference - two or three years development.

“The performances have got better in the last few weeks and tonight I thought we were excellent from minute-one.

“It looked like it clicked a little bit and I think the shape gave us an opportunity to express ourselves.

 “We played football and we also mixed it up. The second goal came from a punt up the pitch, but we also played some good football and that’s what we’ve been trying to get them to do more.

“The only disappointment was the two goals because I don’t remember Mitch making a save and we had numerous chances and could have scored several times.”

The Clarets played with N’Guessan in a holding midfield role behind an attacking midfield quartet which included trialist Harvey Whyte from Liverpool.

The line-up helped Burnley dominate against a Forest side which could have gone second in the table but were flattered by just a single-goal defeat after adding their second in injury time following second-half strikes from N'Guessan and Clarke.

And Duff expects there to be more players hoping to win a deal at Turf Moor selected over the next few weeks with Burnley facing a hectic schedule of 12 more games before the end of the season.

He added: “There will be loads of opportunities. The team will constantly change now. It’s about looking at players and there will be more trialists playing.

“We are looking at different performances and bench-marking people against each other to see where we need to get better.”

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