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Hard Work Pays Off For Koiki

Dyche pleased with young prospects as teenager grabs first Burnley goal

23 July 2019

Sean Dyche was pleased to see Ali Koiki’s efforts rewarded as the Clarets stepped up their pre-season programme with victory at Fleetwood.

Koiki scored his first senior goal for the club to set Burnley on their way to a 2-0 win over Joey Barton’s Cod Army at Highbury Stadium.

And Dyche admitted it had been a big night for the 19-year-old left-sided player.

“It means something,” said the Burnley boss.

“He’s a young man learning. It’s the first pre-season he’s been with the first team.

Koiki run.jpg

“He’s been with us for a number of weeks, as has Josh (Benson) and Dunny (Jimmy Dunne), and it’s a big thing for them, playing in these games.

“They are important games for them and they’re doing nicely.”

The trio all went with the Clarets’ senior squad on their training trip to Portugal, with Benson and Koiki stepping up from the Under-23 ranks.

And they have since been involved in each of the Clarets’ warm-up games.

“They’re good lads. They have fitted in during pre-season and they have worked hard,” added Dyche.

“The older pros will accept that. The least they want from young pros is to work hard and they’ve done that.”

Koiki and midfielder Benson (below) played the first half at Fleetwood – Koiki scoring just before the break – with Dunne featuring in the second half as Dyche again gave all his fit senior players game time.

Josh Benson.jpg

“The plan was to do what we did with the two 45s because they trained hard this morning,” said the Clarets’ chief, whose side wrapped up victory through Chris Wood’s sixth goal of pre-season.

“It was against a very organised Fleetwood side – Joey has done a good job and it looks good so far for them this pre-season; they looked sharp in the first half.

“But we got to grips with the game in the end, as we should do, and I was pleased with the performance, more because of the fitness side of things.

“I think the fitness is coming and that sharpness is coming.”

Defenders Ben Gibson (ankle) and Ben Mee (groin), goalkeeper Nick Pope (groin) and winger Robbie Brady (ribs) all missed the game through injury.

But none are deemed to be serious and Dyche expects his number to be boosted for Saturday’s trip to Wigan.

Summer signing Erik Pieters required late treatment for an arm injury but received the all-clear.

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