Burnley stepped up their preparations for their return to European football with an impressive 3-2 win at Preston North End.
Sean Dyche named a strong side to start the game at Deepdale, keeping the main core that was ever present throughout last season despite missing a couple of key players ahead of the Europa League tie with Aberdeen on Thursday.
The Scottish side’s manager Derek McInnes was in attendance and he saw a decent test for the Clarets which included their Championship opponents taking a first half lead through Josh Harrop as his shot found its way into the bottom corner.
Aaron Lennon and Sam Vokes had both gone close before the opener and Lennon did grab the equaliser after North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd saved a Jeff Hendrick shot into the path of the winger.
Widespread changes occured after 55 minutes for the Clarets with one eye on the game on Thursday, with a lot of younger talent coming into the fray.
After 72 minutes, young forward Dan Agyei powered home a Jon Walters cross to give Burnley the lead for the first time in the game.
That lead didn’t last for long though as a defensive mistake allowed Callum Robinson guide a shot past substitute goalkeeper Adam Legzdins.
Legzdins then made two more good saves before the Clarets grabbed the win six minutes from time when Dwight McNeil showed his uncapped potential once again with a delightful curling left foot finish.
Manager Dyche said after the game that he “was really pleased” as well as praising the young players who stepped up to fill in the gaps left by the missing senior players, which included strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood who both were missing through slight injuries.
“Woody we pulled out just because he has a tightness around the top of the hamstring so we thought we’d better be careful. Barnesy is doing okay, he just had a slight pain in a knee tendon.” Dyche said to the club’s website following the win.
Dyche also added that “The group you saw tonight is very motivated” so the manager could have some selection headaches ahead of the game at Pittodrie this Thursday.