Stock expects technical tussle

PASS MASTER: Brian Stock
PASS MASTER: Brian Stock

CLARETS midfielder Brian Stock anticipates a technical tussle against Brighton tomorrow.

Both sides are renowned for a passing game, and the former Bournemouth and Doncaster man feels it is a further evidence of a shift in the English leagues.

The 100 miles per hour, up and at ‘em football of the 1980s and 1990s is becoming a thing of the past, and Stock feels a patient, possession game something the side should persevere with: “When I first started playing football teams never used to play out from the back.

“You used to get up and kick the ball.

“You get teams in League 2 who are wanting to play out from the back, which is great for football.

“Middlesbrough will want to play, Bolton won’t want to play.

“We think we can play football from the back, so it’s matching that.

“I love the way we play out from the back, it suits my style of play and if we can maintain that and play in the right areas – not be suicidal – it will stand us in good stead.”

There has been a call among some fans to get the ball forward quicker - to up the tempo, and Stock accepts: “Fans pay their money and are entitled to their opinion, but ask us footballers, if you’re 1-0 up and you can keep the ball from the opposition, things will open up.

“You might have to go back and go forward again, which might be frustrating for the fans, but it’s something we do as a team and we can’t let that affect our decision on the pitch.

“I remember Jose Mourinho talking about the best time not to try to score.

“They used to have a thing at Chelsea, where in certain periods of the game the worst thing was for them to score.

“He’d make sure they kept the ball, which controlled the game. If we’ve got the ball, how are the opposition going to score?

“It’s that sort of scenario really.

“I remember a game at Doncaster where we were 3-0 up and we kept the ball and got booed a couple of times.

“I think that’s generally fans’ frustration.”

Stock was delighted to get two hours under his belt in the Capital One Cup win over Plymouth - scoring the winning penalty in the shootout - and he is settling into life at Turf Moor.

One player he has been hugely impressed by is striker Charlie Austin, who he feels attacks crosses as well as anyone he has seen: “I said to the manager and the assistant manager that he is probably one of the best I’ve played with in getting on the end of crosses. His timing and his goal ratio is unbelievable.

“That will stand us in good stead this season because you know if you put balls in the box he’s a real threat.

“When you’ve got the likes of Trippier down the wing I’m sure he’s thinking just get it in the box and we’ve got a great chance of scoring with (Charlie) in the box.

“I’ve played with players like Steve Fletcher at Bournemouth and played international football as well, but given Charlie’s height and frame, it’s amazing how, against big centre halves, he gets on the end of crosses.

“Steve Fletcher’s probably the best player I’ve ever played with in the air, but Charlie just seems to score goals from crosses. He’s got great timing.

“He’s a handful. The one thing I like about him is that he’s aggressive, he reminds of an old school forward where he’ll rough up the centre half, which I think is great.

“He’s great to play with.”

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