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Stone: We Must Finish Teams Off

Clarets pay the price for letting Forest off the hook as top spot eludes them

23 September 2019

Steve Stone wants his side to develop more of a killer instinct after they missed the chance to go top of the table.

The Clarets out-played league leaders Nottingham Forest but were pegged back by a late equaliser at Turf Moor.

And when Ali Koiki then missed a chance to win it from the penalty spot in injury-time, the unbeaten Clarets were left to settle for a fifth draw of the season and fourth place in the U23 Development League’s northern section.

“The penalty I’m not bothered about. That would have been lovely to finish a game off like that but it’s the first half where we had plenty of chances,” said Stone after Koiki had earlier struck his seventh goal of the season to set up a 1-1 draw.

“Then Lewis (Richardson) goes around the goalkeeper at the end to slot it in and gets brought down for the red card.

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“We get the penalty and it makes a bit ‘how many chances do we need every week to finish a team off?

“It seems like we need three goals to finish a team off and it’s getting pretty frustrating for the lads and for me because the work we do in the final third is constant. Some of the forwards have got to get it.”

Forest clung on to top spot thanks to Danny Preston’s headed goal five minutes from time.

But the Clarets will feel their efforts this season should have seen them right up with the early pacesetters.

And Stone admits the penny needs to drop for his side, which has surrendered leads three times to let points go astray.

“It’s been very similar to most matches we’ve played recently, but the quality of the opposition went up today in Forest who have beaten everybody, apart from one, game and sitting top of the league,” added the Under-23s’ boss.

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“They’ve had an Academy going for many, many years and they’re way ahead of us in terms of that.

“So, to play them and give as good an account as we did today is positive and it’s in the right direction.

“Again, we had a couple of young boys in the team in Lewis (Richardson) and Ne-Jai (Tucker), so the positive are there.

“And the performances, if you go from last season to this, and the type of play we are producing is starting to get there.

“But – development again – is getting the players to understand that winning does matter because that’s the mentality.

“They can’t just accept that. They’ve got to do everything to throw their body to get on the end of things and they need to learn that.

“Because once they get in the big leagues and people are paying their wages, you get left out if you don’t finish teams off. The final touches are where we’ve got to get to now.”

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