Handing teenage striker Dan Agyei a Premier League debut at Anfield on Sunday was “no gimmick” according to Sean Dyche.
Agyei, 19, came off the bench for a brief first taste of first team action, replacing Scott Arfield in the 89th minute, in the 2-1 loss to Liverpool.
The six-foot frontman had been an unused substitute in the previous three games – the FA Cup exit to Lincoln City and Premier League trips to Hull City and Swansea City, and Dyche feels Agyei deserved his debut at one of the great stadiums of English football.
He said: “I was wanting to get him on.
“We would have maybe got him on for a few minutes more, not for any gimmick, but because he deserves the right.
“He has been training with the group and training really hard and showing us signs and glimpses of what he’s about.
“He’s a young man and to make his Premier League debut at Anfield is not a bad start.”
Agyei, signed from AFC Wimbledon for £100,000 in the summer of 2015, amid stern competition from Chelsea and Fulham, spent the first half of the season on loan at Coventry City, following a brief trial at Morecambe, and netted five goals in 19 appearances for the Sky Blues.
Since returning to Turf Moor, with Dyche aware he could not play for the first team at Burnley and then go out on loan again ahead of the transfer window closing at the end of January, Agyei has worked his way into the picture.
Patrick Bamford’s return to Chelsea and subsequent sale to Middlesbrough created an opening for a fourth striker to back up Andre Gray, Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes, and Agyei said: “It was a great experience for me to make my debut. It’s just disappointing not to get a result.
“It’s a massive step forward and hopefully I can kick on. I just need to keep training hard, try and get as many minutes as possible and hopefully score some goals.”