Cup final will show Burnley Under 23s coach Steve Stone what his players are made of

Burnley Under 23s coach Steve Stone thinks he'll find out exactly what his players are made of when they take on Blackburn Rovers in the Lancashire Senior Cup final.
Burnley's Dwight McNeil in action against Everton at Goodison ParkBurnley's Dwight McNeil in action against Everton at Goodison Park
Burnley's Dwight McNeil in action against Everton at Goodison Park

The former Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa winger has identified the tie at the LFA County Ground in Leyland as an opportunity to stand out and impress Clarets boss Sean Dyche.

Stone understands that some may buckle under the pressure of the occasion but those that rise above it and shine could go on to follow the same path as Dwight McNeil, Dan Agyei, Jimmy Dunne, Ali Koiki, Josh Benson and Anthony Glennon.

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Speaking ahead of Tuesday's fixture, the 47-year-old former England international said: "I think I know exactly what my players are made of but the differences in this game will stick out massively.

"This is an opportunity for them all to put a marker down in front of a lot of fans and the first team manager will probably be there for both clubs.

"It's an opportunity for them to stand out and there aren't too many opportunities for them to do that.

"Our manager probably watches about two or three games a year because he's so busy. He has to listen to me giving him the 'yes he's ready, can you put him in the training squad?' It's great, it's brilliant. It's the last game of the season so give your all and see where you get."

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Burnley beat Barrow 4-0 and then Fleetwood Town 1-0, before triumphing 6-4 away to Rochdale in the semi-final.

But they face the competition's most successful side in the showpiece, with Rovers lifting the trophy 18 times in total.

Damien Johnson's side, who last claimed the silverware in 2011, have been in fine fettle building towards this game, beating the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs in Premier League 2.

"I'm looking forward to the fact that there's pressure on our players," said Stone. "I want there to be pressure, I put serious pressure on my players, I put it on them every game.

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"But outside pressure and the volume of that pressure is something different and they've got to experience that.

"I'll see some rise and I'll see some melt but that's what I'm looking for. If some go under on the first occasion because of it, it doesn't mean it's the end of them.

"It means that they'll understand what all this is about and we can develop them from there. The ones that do rise above it and sense what it's all about can probably grab it and go on to have careers because of it."