Steve Stone praised the composure of his penalty shoot-out winners after the Clarets set up a home quarter-final clash with AFC Fylde in the Lancashire FA Senior Cup.
The Under-23s held their nerve to get past Fleetwood Town 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw at the Barnfield Training Centre.
Only Jordan Cropper saw an effort saved as Joe McGlynn, Ali Koiki, Anthony Glennon, Ryan Cooney and Tunde Bayode all found the target for the Clarets.
And with new signing Lukas Jensen saving twice, Stone’s side negotiated the first-round tie as they look to repeat last season’s run to the final.
“I have been involved in many penalty shoot-outs, right from their age up to big ones at Wembley and semi-finals of the FA Cup,” said the Under-23s’ boss and ex-England international who was part of the national side that won and lost shoot-outs at Euro 96.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s in front of one man and his dog or 50-60,000, they’re still nerve-wracking.
“You’re part of a team and all of a sudden you’re not part of a team. It’s you and they’re all looking at you for the responsibility to go and take it and you’ve got to stand up to the challenge of doing it.
“And they all did. Every single one of them that took a penalty looked confident and it was good for Lukas as well on the other side of it.
“He looked like somebody who was going to save penalties. He’s got the size and stature.
“At the minute, he is a goalkeeper who makes saves. He is not a game goalkeeper, which we are trying to develop. We have the raw ingredients for him to grow bigger and better.”
The Clarets struggled to make chances following a bright start with not enough coming from the wide areas in a team showing four changes from the side that beat Ipswich in the Professional Development League on Monday.
But Stone was pleased to see them find a way to extend their unbeaten start to the season in a run which now stretches to seven games.
“It was a team that was thrown together with youngsters, Mace (Goodridge) coming back and Scott and Glenno playing centre-half, who are both lefties,” he added.
“There was a lot which could have gone wrong with what we put out there, but they stuck at it again and the mentality was good.
“We didn’t create as many chances as we have been doing, which was shown by the team we threw together. But you have to give them credit for trying to do the right things.”
And another plus saw Goodridge (above) complete an hour on the midfielder’s first start in almost a year following knee surgery.
“The plan was always 60-70 minutes. I’m delighted for him, getting around the ball, dropping out and playing some nice simple passes,” said Stone.
“He felt his way into the game really well alongside Josh Benson. They grew into the game, both of them, and I was pleased with how they were playing.
“It’s up to him now to build, which is brilliant, and he’s got plenty of competition in there now.
“There are four good players who are rising to the challenge and Mace is the type of person who rises to a challenge.
“That’s what I’m expecting from him, not only for himself but to push the others.”