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Stone Happy With Cup Prospects

Clarets one win away from knock-out stages after 0-0 draw with Liverpool

8 February 2019

Steve Stone praised his players for keeping their U23 Premier League Cup prospects in their own hands as they took a point from Liverpool in Group C.

Since losing their opening game in the competition 7-1 at Bournemouth, the Clarets have gone unbeaten.

And victory at home to West Bromwich Albion in their final group fixture on 25 February will guarantee a last-16 place.

“I said to the guys we wanted to win this game, but now if we have the opportunity to win the next game and still be in it, that wasn’t going to happen when we first spoke about this competition,” said Stone following Friday’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Bamber Bridge’s Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

“We thought it was too far away from us. That’s credit to them. All the credit goes to them.

“They are the ones that go out and do it. We can set them up. They have to do it and that’s the pleasing thing.”

Burnley’s efforts left Liverpool bottom of the group and without a win as the two sides shared the points for a second time following a 0-0 draw on Merseyside last November.

And the Clarets could have been in an even better position had they turned chances into goals, as ex-Red Marley Blair helped Stone’s men dominate before half-time ahead of a rock-solid second-half shut-out.

“I said to them they should be disappointed they haven’t won that game, the chances they had in the first half and what they created on the counter-attack,” added the U23s’ boss.

“I’m not sure when they went to Bournemouth and played Liverpool last time they created that many chances.

“That’s a testimony to them, where they’ve come and what they’ve put in this season.

“They have put that effort in and you can see some of them starting to rise and believe in themselves.

“In the first 10 minutes, they believed Liverpool were a good side because they had a Liverpool badge on and they stood off.

“That drove me mad, because they are Burnley and they have to step on top of teams and impose themselves and believe from right from the start.

“And once they started to do that, they were fine. It was scrappy in the second half, but once it becomes like that you don’t lose the game.”


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