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'We Must React Better' - Philliskirk

U18s boss demands more in face of adversity following heavy defeat

2 April 2019

Tony Philliskirk challenged his players to stand up and be counted after seeing their four-month unbeaten run come crashing to an end.

The Clarets hadn’t lost in the U18 Professional Development League since the start of December but shipped six second-half goals to Birmingham City to see that run ended by a 6-2 defeat at the Barnfield Training Centre.

And Philliskirk – tasting defeat for the first time since taking over as Under-18s boss – expects to see more when the going gets tough.

“It’s the first time since I’ve been here that I’ve seen that, so it will be interesting now to see what the players’ response is,” he said.

“In the past, when we have faced a bit of adversity, we have seen the players dig in and really grind out results at times or defend for their lives and be disciplined and really run and fight for each other.

The two teams supported the Premier League's 'No Room For Racism' campaign

“This is the first time since I’ve been here, I didn’t really see that.

“One thing’s for sure. In the face of adversity, the players have got to react better than they did today.”

For the second game running the Clarets led 2-0 at the break as Ben Woods and Jayden Major scored in the opening 25 minutes.

But the Blues turned the tables after half-time to all but end Burnley’s hopes of a top-two finish and a play-off place.

“To be 2-0 up and so dominant in the first half – and maybe could have had one or two more – we didn’t see that coming,” added Philliskirk.

“It was similar to the game at Crystal Palace on Saturday where we played well in the first half and then tired in the second half and they came into the game.

“But what we showed at Palace was a lot of resolution.

“We were hanging on and getting blocks in and the keeper made saves when he needed to.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t see that in the second half today and they actually did to us what we have done to Sheffield United and Leeds in recent weeks, when we have scored three or four goals in a burst.”

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