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Stone Welcomes Winning Habit

U23s boss happy to bank the points after below-par performance

15 February 2019

Steve Stone praised his side’s winning mentality after the Under-23s made it a hat-trick of league victories to maintain their push for a place in the play-offs.

The Clarets were not at their best at the KCOM Stadium but still took the points thanks to a 3-0 win over bottom side Hull City.

And Stone was happy that aspect of the job was successfully accomplished as Burnley made it five without defeat in all competitions.

“It’s great the lads have come away with a victory after not playing great,” said the U23s’ boss.

“There have been periods in the past when we haven’t played great and not won, so that’s the pleasing thing, that the winning mentality continues.

“I could see how much it meant to the lads afterwards, how they’ve kept this winning run going, because they’ve been brilliant lately.

“That’s the mentality we’re trying to instil in them.”

The Clarets moved to within one point of Leeds United at the top of the Professional Development League’s northern section – and five points clear of third-placed Birmingham City, who play on Saturday.

But Stone knows his players must raise their game again if they are to hang onto the top-two spot that would bring a play-off place.

“It wasn’t how we wanted to play,” he admitted.

“The disappointing thing is how we passed the ball. The quality needs to be better.

“We’re delighted with the win because we’ve won 3-0 and not played well. But things need to be better.”

Hull are now without a victory in nine games and, despite making life tough for the Clarets, could not match Burnley’s finishing power.

The visitors missed a couple of decent first-half chances but made no mistake after the break, with Rob Harker’s impressive late strike adding to two well-taken effort from Dan Agyei, who took his tally for the season to 17 in a starring role.

“Dan was the real positive tonight,” added Stone.

“I said to him at half-time, ‘you will win us this game. You have the power and the pace to win this game, no problem’.

“He did that, but he has to believe in himself and believe in what’s got. And if he does, he’s got a chance of making a decent career.”


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