Terry Pashley pulls no punches as Burnley lose LFA Youth Cup Final

Burnley's players are left deflated after the defeat to Preston

Burnley's players are left deflated after the defeat to Preston

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YOUTH team coach Terry Pashley didn’t pull any punches as his young Clarets ended the season trophyless following a 1-0 defeat to Preston North End in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup Final.

Having missed out on the Alliance Youth League by a solitary point to their rivals Pashley had expected a response, but he was to be disappointed and frustrated with the outcome.

A second-half strike from dangerman Brandon Zibaka was enough to decide the tie as the Clarets looked a shadow of the side that had reached the last four of the FA Youth Cup, knocking out academy outfits West Brom and Fulham on their own turf in the process.

Pashley said: “I’ve no complaints at all. We didn’t perform, we didn’t deserve to win. In the end we got what we deserved and it was disappointing. I’m very hard pressed to find someone who came off with any credit.

“It’s a great shame and they’ve got to learn how to win football matches. A lot of them are going to be professionals next season and they’ve got to learn to win games.”

Former Claret Jamie Hoyland had guided the Lillywhites to 10 consecutive victories and, in their bid to lift the trophy for the fourth year running, it was understandable why they’d enjoyed so much success. His young side were a balanced and organised unit, defensively resilient, ruthless in possession, and benefited from pace down the flanks.

“All we had was half chances, I can’t really remember their keeper having to make a save,” slammed Pashley. “We didn’t work him enough and we didn’t do enough in the final third. We built up but it was too slow, too predictable, too pedestrian, we never really got anything going. It was a disappointing end to it.

But Pashley agreed that it’s been a memorable campaign for the youngsters, having reached the FA Youth Cup semi-final for the first time in 33 years and embarking on a 14-game winning streak in the league.

However, he added that he was glad to see his players hurting over another runner-up medal.

He said: “I hope they are hurt, they should be after losing. They shouldn’t be happy coming second and that should be a learning curve for them.

“If you can’t drag a bit more out for a cup final then when can you drag a bit more out?

“I don’t accept the excuse of tired legs one little bit.

With several of the squad already blessed with professional contracts at Turf Moor, and others expected to follow, Pashley demanded that the young players will have to improve and up their game if they are ever to make an impression on first team boss Eddie Howe.

“If they want to be first team footballers they’re going to have to show that,” he said.

“Those that are in the first team aren’t going to give them their shirts.

“They’re going to have to earn it and take it off them.

“I’m annoyed with the way they’ve gone about it. It was almost as if they were thinking all they had to do was turn up to win the game. I’ll praise them when they deserve praising but I’ll tell them the truth when I think they’ve come up short, cup final or no cup final.”

But Pashley agreed that it’s been a memorable campaign for the youngsters, having reached the FA Youth Cup semi-final for the first time in 33 years and embarking on a 14-game winning streak in the league.

However, he added that he was glad to see his players hurting over another runner-up medal. “I hope they are hurt, they should be after losing. They shouldn’t be happy coming second and that should be a learning curve for them. A lot of them will be moving in to a mans’ environment, an environment where the manager is going to be looking for players for his first team, they’ve got to stand up to it.”

Pashley added: “I’m annoyed, I’m trying not to be angry. I’m trying to be constructive but they know I’m frustrated. We were poor. We still look back and for 90-plus per cent of the season we’ve been excellent but you should play until the last minute of the last game in every season.

“That’s what they all get paid to do. It has been a good season, we can’t take away from that, because at the end of it we’ve got some very good players and we’ve achieved what we’ve set out to achieve which is to develop players.”