Tony Philliskirk hopes the Clarets’ run to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup is a sign of things to come.
Burnley’s bid to reach the last four for the first time since 2012 ended with a 1-0 defeat at competition favourites Manchester City.
A second-half goal from Liam Delap was enough to take City through as they chase a place in the final for the fifth time in six years – with Blackburn Rovers or Arsenal standing in their way.
But Philliskirk praised his side’s bid to narrow the gap and add to their earlier wins over Curzon Ashton, Mansfield Town and West Bromwich Albion.
“I think we’ve evolved as a team and to come here to Man City and lose just 1-0 and have one or two little half-chances I can have no criticisms,” said the Clarets’ youth-team boss.
“It was a very tough evening. We played a magnificent team who move the ball so well and have some stellar players who cost a lot of money – which is not a criticism.
“We are a bit tinged with disappointment. Could we have been a little bit more pro-active in our play and did we give them a little bit too much respect in the first half?
“I don’t know. If you go gung-ho, they are that good they pick you off.
“Defensively we got blocks in and we were resolute and compact. Ironically, we were just sensing they were getting a little bit frustrated and then they go and score from one mistake in the game, which isn’t apportioning blame to anyone.
“We’re a young team. I’m so proud of the players. To get this far has been a great achievement in itself.”
The Clarets still have an LFA Youth Cup semi-final against Wigan to look forward to at the end of the month, while a number of the squad that figured at the Etihad Academy Stadium will be eligible for another crack at the FA Youth Cup next season.
And Philliskirk is pleased with the progress being made across the board within the Clarets’ Academy set-up.
“I said to the lads they have been a pleasure to work with this season,” he added.
“A lot of them will go up to the U23s and won’t play again for the U18s this season so I’ve just thanked them for everything they’ve given this season.
“It’s been great for the Academy. It’s heightened the profile and just shows the level we’ve got to go to.
“By having this cup run and getting to the quarter-final, it’s been great not just for the U18s but the whole Academy.
“Our aim now is to try and achieve this year-in, year-out.”