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PREVIEW: Ipswich Town U23s v Burnley U23s

Clarets look to extend unbeaten run and enhance play-off prospects

4 March 2019

The Under-23s turn their attention back to their play-off challenge in the Professional Development League when they go to Ipswich Town this afternoon (Monday).

Steve Stone’s side booked their place in the last 16 of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Friday.

And it’s been a quick turn-around for the trip to East Anglia where the Clarets start their end-of-season run against teams from the league’s southern group, where Ipswich lead the way.

“The life of a footballer is one where you play the game, enjoy the win and recover all at the same time,” said Under-23s’ boss Stone.

“And then you go again, and we go again on Monday and there are some really big games coming up for us.

“I’ll mix the team up and give others an opportunity, which is all about development, and we’ll see how they go as well, and see if they will take the mantle like the rest of them have done.

“The first team, the under-23s, the 18s have been winning, and there are some players need who some games, who are good players and need to step up and show now.”

Stone is likely to give a breather to some of those that helped the Clarets progress in the PL Cup and extend their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.

A point from the game at Ipswich’s training ground (KO 1pm) will be enough to take Burnley back above Birmingham City into a play-off spot and second place in the league's northern group behind leaders Leeds United – who travel to Watford.

And Stone is looking to keep the momentum going as his side – also in the final of the Lancashire FA Senior Cup – challenges on three fronts.

“There’s loads to play for,” he added.

“When we lost at Barnsley after Christmas it was a bad game and a bad time.

“The Christmas period didn’t help us, having a few days off. The lads weren’t focused – I could sense – when they came back and trying to get them back on it was difficult.

“But after that I said to them ‘don’t let this season peter out. You’ve done really well’.

“And they have taken up the mantle. They have run with it and credit to them.”

Live Twitter up-dates from the U23s’ game at Ipswich will be available via @BurnleyOfficial with a report and reaction to follow.

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