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Farrell: 'We're Still In Good Shape'

Acting boss pleased with new-look Clarets as U23s go joint top

13 January 2020

Andy Farrell praised the Clarets’ re-shuffled side as they regained the winning feeling in the U23 Professional Development League.

A 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at the Tameside Stadium completed a double over the Blades and lifted Burnley back into joint top spot of the league’s northern group.

The Clarets now share top billing with Nottingham Forest, who ended Burnley’s unbeaten league record a week ago.

Farrell’s men looked as though they were missing some of the half-dozen players who have been loaned out as they lost 2-1 at the City Ground – as well as feeling the effect of the Christmas break.

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But that wasn’t the case as goals from Rob Harker and Bobby Thomas were enough to blunt the Blades.

“We’ve had the changes. The boys have gone out and we’ve had to move it around a little bit,” said acting boss Farrell.

“Some that haven’t played as much have come in and in terms of the group – the 10 outfield players we had out – we’re still looking in fairly good shape. I thought we played well.”

With Jordan Cropper the latest temporary departure to gain first-team football elsewhere, Ollie Younger returned to starting duty.

Younger was sent off late on for preventing a goalscoring opportunity for the visitors, when he brought down United substitute Sam Ompreon.

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But that didn’t take the gloss off a decent performance from the 20-year-old in a back four also benefitting from the experience of Jimmy Dunne.

And the Clarets also gave a second-half outing to teenage striker Will Harris, who is currently on a work experience loan at Warrington Town after doing well in a similar spell with Colne.

Farrell added: “Ollie played at right back and I know he got sent off. But I think he was a bit unlucky there and in terms of his technical ability he has progressed quite a bit from a few years ago, so he was able to shape the balls down the side and handled the ball really well.

“That’s a progression for him that he has the opportunity now to play in the middle and at right-back. That might help him going forward.

“Mace and Josh were good in the middle of the park and the hold-up play at the top end was good.

“Will hasn’t been with us for a while but he did well and has some good attributes and hopefully we can get him involved at some stage. If he’s not playing for Warrington he can come and play for us.

“Nejai (Tucker) is getting better with every appearance and right through the group I thought they performed really well, pressed really well and showed good energy.”

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