"They haven't got the broken noses yet!" — Burnley boss Vincent Kompany details the development of his battle-hardened defenders
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany believes his battle-hardened centre-backs are benefitting from the rough and tumble of the Championship.
The partnership between Manchester City starlet Taylor Harwood-Bellis, 20, and Borussia Monchengladbach defender Jordan Beyer, 22, has been going from strength to strength.
The defensive pairing stood up to the challenge of experienced Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney on Tuesday night at Turf Moor to register a third clean sheet in their last four league appearances.
"They're young, but they've been battered and bruised now and that's good," said Kompany. "They haven't got the broken noses yet, I'm sure that will come, but we're not talking about guys who are still finding their feet, they've been quite dominant in this league.
"Of course they have a lot they can still improve on, but these types of tests are good for us, especially on the back of Old Trafford."
The duo have now shut the opposition out in 50 per cent of the fixtures in which they've started alongside each other at the heart of the Clarets' defence.
Coventry City were the first in early October, though the German Under 21 international was withdrawn at the break, while Swansea City, Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, QPR and John Eustace's Blues followed.
Kompany concluded: "Sometimes it's the simple things of the game. Our defenders have been winning a lot of duels recently, sometimes it's nothing more difficult than that.
"The ball is coming in and you've got a challenge to make, a decision to make, are you jumping or are you going to win the ball, and at the moment we're getting better at that.
"It's helped us concede fewer chances; I don't think we've shipped a lot of goals other than that one game [against Sheffield United]. It gives them that belief that if they have a performance like that against one of the biggest centre forwards — Troy Deeney is a legend in that side of the game — who has experience, you've got to take that as a benchmark and build from there."