Stone aims to get Burnley rolling against former club Newcastle

Newcastle United coach Steve Stone during the game against Liverpool. Picture by FRANK REID
Newcastle United coach Steve Stone during the game against Liverpool. Picture by FRANK REID
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Steve Stone hopes to help Burnley put one over on his boyhood club on Monday night.

The former England wideman was named as the club’s new Under 23s coach last week, after Michael Duff’s return to Cheltenham Town in his first managerial role.

Gateshead-born Stone was on the coaching staff at Newcastle United from July 2010 to June 2015, as reserve team assistant manager to Peter Beardsley, before being promoted to first team coach by Alan Pardew.

And he has seen a lot of the Magpies this season as well, in a scouting role for the Clarets.

Rafa Benitez brings his side to Turf Moor on Monday night, and Stone said: “It’s been great, because I’ve been working as a scout with Hodgy (Martin Hodge) for the last 18 months as well, so I’ve been in and around the club, going abroad and everything, and when I’m not abroad looking at talent, I’ve been given local games, and I’m from Newcastle, so I’ve been to watch them a lot.

“It’s been good to have a chat with Woany (Ian Woan) about what’s going on, and how they play, just give them a little bit of a heads up, so it’s nice to be feel part of what the first team are doing as well.

“Nick Ashby was up there last weekend as well, one of our scouts, so I’ve had a chat with him as well, and obviously the relationship I have, the history I’ve had there.

“I love Newcastle United as a football Club, I supported the club as a boy, but work is work!

“It actually makes it more special, you want to put one over on them, it’s three points at the end of the day.”

Newcastle have climbed above Burnley on goal difference after winning the last two games against Watford and Bournemouth - their first wins of the season, and Stone admitted: “Unfortunately we seem to be playing teams who have picked up a little recently, and they have because they’ve got everybody fit.

“Rafa is a top manager, I’ve watched him, especially at the start of this season, where he’s been getting a bit of stick with the way they’ve been playing, how deep they’ve been dropping, but if you look at his goal difference, he’s been clever about that.

“It’s better than everybody else’s at the bottom, he’s shut up shop and realises his cup finals are against your Burnleys, and the teams around them.

“That’s what he’ll say, they’ve got the likes of (Salomon) Rondon fit, Kenedy has hit a bit of form again, and Matt Ritchie is a good player.

“They seem to be going in the right direction.

“But every game is ridiculously hard in the Premier League, it doesn’t matter who you play.

“He’s made them very hard to beat, getting beat, and by a lot of goals, can drain confidence in the side, and that’s what he’s worked on.”

Burnley had been losing games, by a lot of goals, conceding 13 in defeats against Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham, but last time out claimed a welcome clean sheet and a point at Leicester, and Stone added: “Burnley got a good point at Leicester, any time you go away in the Premier League and get a clean sheet and a point, you’ve done a great job, especially there - that is a difficult place to go. I’ve taken Newcastle teams there in the past, and the atmosphere that can be created is tremendous. It’s one of the hardest places to go, I used to find, and a difficult day with the emotion, everybody probably wanting to be with Leicester and wanting them to win.

“So the manager and staff were probably pleased it’s over, they showed respect, got a great point, and a building block.

“If you’ve lost a few games, you have to start somewhere, with a nil, you can’t lose then, and you can build from there.”