Goal boost for loan star Delfouneso

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'GOAL.'Nathan Delfouneso scores for England Under 21's against Iceland at Deepdale

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'GOAL.'Nathan Delfouneso scores for England Under 21's against Iceland at Deepdale

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ON-LOAN striker Nathan Delfouneso hopes to take the confidence of a goal for his country into tomorrow’s clash with Ipswich.

Delfouneso showed great composure to slot the opener for England Under 21s against Iceland at Deepdale on Monday night.

England's Nathan Delfouneso celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game during the U21 International at Deepdale, Preston. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday March 28, 2011. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158447447 for further information.

England's Nathan Delfouneso celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game during the U21 International at Deepdale, Preston. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday March 28, 2011. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158447447 for further information.

And while Stuart Pearce’s side - which also included fellow loan man Jack Cork - slipped to a 2-1 defeat, Delfouneso was delighted to score his second goal for the Young Lions.

Having netted a debut winner for Burnley, after agreeing a temporary switch from Aston Villa, the 20-year-old is eager to continue on the goal trail against the Tractor Boys tomorrow, and he said: “It was a nice feeling individually (to score).

“I wasn’t playing in my natural position, but I feel I’m a finisher.

“In getting the goal I’ll take that back to Burnley and hopefully go and get some results.

“I feel that I should be doing that kind of thing, and I’m disappointed when I don’t score.

“If I get into those positions it’s down to me to finish like I did, and hopefully I will in the weeks to come as well.”

Delfouneso’s strike came in front of Clarets boss Eddie Howe, as well as Stuart Gray, Billy Mercer and Graham Alexander, and, having dropped to the bench last time out at Bristol City, he hopes to have given the manager food for thought: “I’m a confident sort of guy and I feel that given the right opportunities I can go and score goals.

“It’s all in my hands.

“If I get the opportunity, it’s down to me to put it in the back of the net.”

And he believes that despite a haul of one point from nine, a play-off place remains in Burnley’s hands: “I’m ready and eager to go and put in some good performances and hopefully get some victories and help us push on for promotion.

“It’s down to us now. We’ve got a good opportunity to push on and try to get into the play-offs.

“We’ve got a game in hand as well, which we need to win.

“It’s in our hands to go and play.

“Other teams have dropped points lately so it’s wide open.

“If we keep focused and work hard hopefully we can get the wins we need.

“The boys are mentally, physically ready to push on. We’re disappointed with how the last couple of weeks have gone but we’re ready and we feel we can get into the play-offs.

“It’s down to us to make sure that we perform, go and win the games and keep going.”

April brings eight games, but game time is what he joined Burnley for: “There might have been the odd few weeks when we had two games a week when I was at Villa, but at the time I wasn’t really playing week in, week out.

“This time I have a chance of being involved in every game so it will be an experience for me and one that I’m looking forward to.

“I’ve come here to play. I just want to play games.

“That’s the only way I’m going to improve as a player and I’d be grateful if I take part in all the games.

“Hopefully if the gaffer selects me I’ll take it from there.”

Fellow England Under 21 forward Connor Wickham will be an opponent tomorrow, with the highly-rated youngster - 18 today - likely to feature for Ipswich.

Delfouneso feels the Football League’s Young Player of the Year will have to be closely monitored: “He’s a big strong lad with an eye for goal as well. He’s definitely one for the future. He’s a danger for any team so it’s down to us to make sure we do a job against him. The size of him is quite remarkable, but whatever he does in the gym is down to him!”