Eddie’s praise for Burnley debutant Hewitt
IT was a longer night than Eddie Howe would have wished for, but the main thing was Burnley progressing to the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Howe made 10 changes from the side that lost at Huddersfield on Saturday, and he felt the risk paid off ultimately, with the bonus of seeing Steven Hewitt complete 120 minutes and score a penalty on his full debut.
Howe said: “I didn’t want anything like tonight. It’s obvious we made a lot of changes with Saturday in mind, taking into account Brighton haven’t got a game midweek and trying to make sure we’re as strong as possible for Saturday, but while still trying to win this game.
“We knew it would be a tough game but I felt it was worth taking the risk.
“I need to rotate the squad and give players minutes, but also I need to try to blood the young players and give them the experience as well – the likes of Steven Hewitt and Alex MacDonald.
“It will do Stevie the world of good especially, he’s taken a penalty in a pressure situation so it’s a great night for him.”
Hewitt was one of a few plusses for the boss: “In terms of Stevie you only know how good young players are when you play them and I thought Stevie did well.
“I thought Luke O’Neill did really well – I was really impressed with him and it was a really good experience for him to go through, playing in front of the home crowd.
“Marvin Bartley was excellent when he was on the pitch until he suffered from a bit of cramp, which you expect. He’s hardly had any minutes since pre-season.
“And we needed the Beast in the penalties to make some great saves for us.
“He does fill the goal! You’re looking at it and thinking ‘I can’t see a way past him’.
“Fair play to him he made some great saves.
“He didn’t have a lot to do during the game but he was there when we needed him.”