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Drinkwater On Course After Taste Of Turf Moor

Steve Stone rues missed chances but happy with performance in 1-1 draw

19 August 2019

Danny Drinkwater’s action-plan remains on course following his first outing in a Burnley shirt.

Drinkwater played the first half of the Under-23s’ 1-1 draw with Coventry City at Turf Moor as he works his way towards full fitness.

And Steve Stone confirmed that had been the target as the on-loan Chelsea midfielder plots his return from more than a year away from competitive first-team football during his time at Stamford Bridge.

“He had a hard training session on Saturday morning. He’s worked hard last week since he came in,” said the U23s’ boss.

“Forty-five minutes today was always the plan to make sure we don’t overload him, and we’ll see how the rest of the week pans out for him.

“To have him around was invaluable experience for some of my boys.

“They have played alongside a player who has won the Premier League - and that doesn’t happen very often at Premier League level.”

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Drinkwater’s role as an over-age player alongside Josh Benson helped Stone’s side dominate the first 45 minutes against the Sky Blues.

But the Clarets couldn’t convert a string of chances to cancel out Coventry’s opener, scored past Bailey Peacock-Farrell by Max Biamou on the goalkeeper’s first Burnley appearance.

It was a similar story after the break with frontmen Rob Harker and Lewis Richardson both continuing to go close.

And it took a finish from winger Tunde Bayode 10 minutes from time to finally see the Clarets’ pressure pay off as they made it back 1-1 draws to start their Development League season.

“We’re looking to progress with the style of play - going long when it’s time to go long and get people up the pitch and look to play when it presents itself and I thought we did both today,” added Stone.

“I’m delighted the boys are taking on board what we’re trying to do and take the chances out of it and I was delighted with what went on.

“The centre-halves looked strong in the second half, along with Ryan Cooney at right-back and Glenno on the left. They kept a high line and that condensed the team, which was important.

“Things we have been working on were out there. We’ve only been doing it for eight weeks, so the positives are there and on another day you do win it four or five.

“But I’ve also mentioned to the lads you have to find a way to win. It doesn’t just happen because you play well.

“There were things there that were great and there were also things where the centre-forwards need to gamble a little bit more and finish chances off as well.

“They have to be in the right positions to score the goals and take their chances and unfortunately they didn’t today.

“But they’re great kids and they will keep working hard to go and do it.”

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