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Stone: Robbie's Ready

3 September 2019

Steve Stone praised Robbie Brady for his focus as the winger closes in on a first team return.

Wide man Brady has stepped up his recovery from a rib injury with two games for Stone’s U23 side, including a 90-minute run-out in Monday’s 0-0 draw at Turf Moor.

And the Development Squad Head Coach feels the Irish international, who was placed on stand-by for the latest round of internationals, is now ready to stake his claim for a starting place on the domestic front.

“It’s important for Robbie that he’s now had two games with us,” said Stone.

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“He’s getting himself back to fitness and now he can push for that first team place he’s been waiting for.

“He’s been a little unlucky with that rib injury he suffered a month ago and it’s been a bit of a stop-start season for him, but it’s good that he’s come and played a couple of games with us.

“It’s not easy for first team players to come and play U23 football. It’s very different to what they are used to, so all credit to him.”

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Brady’s return to fitness, which could be rubber-stamped by another bounce game next week, coincided with the news that Dwight McNeil has been forced to withdraw from the England U21 squad, following a minor injury.

And with Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson also missing international duty after picking up a calf injury, Brady's fitness boost will be welcomed by Sean Dyche.

Meanwhile, Stone rued a lack of a cutting edge as the U23s were forced to accept a fourth straight draw to remain unbeaten.

The Clarets dominated against Rangers on Monday, but couldn’t find the killer touch in front of goal to convert a host of chances; notably in the second half.

“I was delighted with what I saw. we started the game really well and then let them back into the game ahead of half time,” said Stone.

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“In the second half I asked the lads to press higher and use the ball with better quality and I thought we mixed things up really well.

“It’s been the story of the season though; we can’t really finish teams off. Even when we score a couple of goals we are letting some sloppy ones in, so there is a lot to work on.”

 


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