Andy Farrell says that developing the Clarets’ young players will remain key after seeing the Under-23s lose their unbeaten league record.
A 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest saw the ‘Tricky Trees’ replace Burnley at the top of the Professional Development League table.
The Clarets were missing half-a-dozen players who have been a key part of their plans in the first half of the season due to loan moves since the January transfer window opened.
But Farrell had no complaints and expects further changes and opportunities for some of the Clarets’ youth team if further moves materialise.
“It’s all about opportunity,” said the acting Under-23s’ boss.
“Some of them have got the opportunity to go elsewhere and play men’s professional football to further their development.
“We could probably keep them all here and play them to the end of the season and probably win the league.
“But this gives the boys below us the opportunity and if they come to play for us, we’ll know they’re up to it.
“It will be a challenge for them but a challenge I think will develop them. Hopefully we’ll get another run going now and further their development.”
The Clarets lost for the first time in 18 league games in a tight encounter at the City Ground where both sides scored from the penalty spot.
Josh Benson’s effort gave Burnley hope of keeping their record intact but ultimately Keith Asare’s 63rd-minute strike proved decisive in a game of few clear-cut chances.
“I wouldn’t imagine there were too many changes in their group of players from when we last played them, so they haven’t probably had the upheaval we’ve had,” added Farrell.
“They’re a good team which presses like we do, so there wasn’t a lot of time on the ball.
“But if you’re watching the game, you’re watching it in their half generally.
“I thought the boys’ performance wasn’t bad and probably should have got the rewards in the first half.
“If we had made the most of our opportunities in the first half it could have been different. Obviously, goals change games.
“There were plenty of balls into the box and with a little bit of timing and technique and getting a clean contact on the ball I think it’s in the back of the net.
“But in terms of the work ethic, their shape and getting around the pitch I thought they were good.”