Different edge to derby but Jolley is focused
Development Squad coach Michael Jolley is refusing to play up to the hype ahead of Burnley's group game with rivals Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League Cup tomorrow.
The Clarets progressed in the competition after beating Bournemouth and Watford in the qualifying rounds and were partnered with Rovers in Group B along with Sunderland and Cardiff City.
The two sides met in the third round of the cup last season at Turf Moor when the visitors secured a 3-1 win after extra time.
The Academy One category side had trailed through Ntumba Massanka’s stunning volley in the first half but hit back through Matthew Platt.
Rovers then took advantage in the additional period when former Blessed Trinity RC pupil Willem Tomlinson and then Connor Mahoney netted.
Ahead of tomorrow’s fixture at Ewood Park, which kicks-off at 2 p.m., Jolley said: “The first team is the first team and that takes care of itself. We’re the under 23 group and it just so happens that we’re playing Blackburn.
“I know there’ll be a lot of interest in the game, but for us as development players and a development group, it’s all about being in the next round at this point, and we’re happy with that.
“I’m sure that will be the focus for a lot of people, but there’s two other good teams in there. Whoever we play we’ve got to prepare well and give a good performance.”
Jolley added: “We had the game last year which had to be played behind closed doors. Playing against Blackburn brings a different edge to the game, but there are six difficult games in this Development Under 23 world.
“You never quite know what team the opposition is going to put out. We had some senior lads out in the last round, where Watford didn’t.
“We could be on the other end of that at some stage, so we have to prepare right, do the best with what we’ve got and give a good performance.”
Visiting fans are not permitted to attend either Premier League Cup group fixture against Blackburn.
Only season ticket holders of the respective home club will be admitted, free of charge, with their season ticket at the turnstiles.
For the Blackburn game at Turf Moor, any Burnley supporter who has a purchase history on the database will also be entitled to purchase a ticket.