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Winning Mentality Satisfies Stone

Performance not perfect but Clarets bounce back to re-ignite play-off push

11 March 2019

Steve Stone was happier with the points than the performance as the Under-23s got back on track with a 2-0 win over Watford.

Early goals from Tinashe Chakwana and Lewis Richardson were enough to give Burnley the win that lifted them back up to second place in the Professional Development League’s northern group.

The victory also saw them bounce back from a first defeat in nine games at Ipswich a week ago – even though Stone had hoped for more from his side at the Barnfield Training Centre.

“I tried to open up the team a bit and asked them go and play and I thought at times we struggled with it,” said the Under-23s’ boss.

“As a coach you’re always looking to see how you can set your team up and some of the players showed today that moving the ball quickly and playing two-touch was a problem for them and they have to get better than that.

Olly Younger returned from injury to help keep a clean sheet

“We know they can fight and scrap, but the next level up you have to be able to handle the ball in tight spaces and some of them struggled today.

“The tight areas are difficult to play in and the good players can do it.

“We got better in some areas towards the end, but the game had died a bit by then and I’m looking for my players to do it in the first 45 minutes when it’s tight and everyone’s got real energy.”

While Stone reminded his players of the standards they need to reach to keep progressing, he was pleased with a fourth win in five league games which lifted Burnley back into a play-off spot with four games to go.

“I said to them before the game it’s important to keep a winning mentality,” Stone added.

“Winning is huge in any sport at any level and they have to do that. It’s okay saying ‘we played really well today and we lost’.

“I’m not really interested in that. I need to play really well and need to win. But if you don’t play well, make sure you do win.

“We’ve done that today and while it’s as bad as we have played for a while, the winning mentality is something we continue through this football club and it’s something we’re trying to develop.

“It starts at first-team level. They’ve got that hunger and desire and our lads need to feed off that and smell it and sense it.”

 


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