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U23s Head For Hull

Clarets look to extend unbeaten run against Tigers and stay in the chase

14 February 2019

Steve Stone’s young charges are champing at the bit as they look to keep their league title challenge going with a third game in eight days at Hull City on Friday night.

The Under-23s are on a roll after winning three and drawing one of their last four games.

That run has given them a chance of reaching the last 16 of the Premier League Cup and kept open the door for a possible place in the end-of-season Professional Development League play-offs.

The Clarets would need a top-two finish in the northern group to reach the play-off semi-finals and currently occupy second spot behind leaders Leeds United.

Third-placed Birmingham have a game in hand, but Burnley would go five points clear of the Blues before their Saturday fixture at home to Crewe Alexandra if Stone’s side can record another win over the bottom-of-the-table Tigers at the KCOM Stadium.

The trip to Humberside comes a week after the Clarets drew 0-0 with Liverpool in the cup and four days after a 4-2 league win at Bolton.

The possibility of re-arranging a further game for next week has been by-passed, but Stone admits his players can’t get enough of the action as they look to extend their unbeaten run against a Hull side without a win in eight games.

“We’re not playing next week because we have to get some training into them as well,” said the Under-23s’ boss.

“You need to get some coaching into them and not just games, but the lads want to keep rolling their sleeves up and going out there at the minute and that’s what happens when you win.

“They just want to play another game.”

The Clarets been without a number of players due to injury in recent weeks, with midfielder Mark Howarth joining Olly Younger on the sidelines for the trip to Bolton where Burnley came from behind to win with four second-half goals.

But midfielder Christian N’Guessan and defender Teddy Perkins successfully came through 90 minutes after lengthy injury absences to increase Stone’s options going forward.

“They were meant to play for 60 minutes,” added Stone, who also had James Clarke back on the bench.

“But they sort of got a grip of the game and they were instrumental in what was happening, the two of them down the middle, so I was reluctant to change them.

“If I’m a player I want to get 90 minutes under my belt, so I feel like I’m ready, and they were making an impact on the game.

“I was delighted for them and credit to the staff that do an unbelievable job here.

“They give a lot of time and effort and give their lives for others to succeed, which shows a real team and work ethic – at Burnley – and that’s how these things work.”

Kick-off at the KCOM Stadium is at 7pm on Friday evening.


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