ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman feels that his young side can learn lessons from Premier League new boys Burnley.
The Reds put in a spirited performance against more illustrious opponents in the annual friendly at the Crown Ground on Tuesday night, leading 2-0 at one point before being pegged back to 2-2.
In fact, they were less than ten minutes away from beating Owen Coyle’s top flight side thanks to John Miles and Sean McConville before Robbie Blake and Steven Thompson netted late on.
"You’ve got to be disappointed if you are winning 2-0 and you concede two in the last six minutes but we made quite a lot of changes in the second half and got a bit disjointed," said Coleman.
"They’ve had a long trip from America so I wouldn’t be reading too much into their form."
Despite the late disappointment, Coleman paid tribute to the visitors and couldn’t help admiring their dogged comeback.
"I know from travelling myself how much it takes out of you, so fair play to their players that they kept going right to the end and got their 2-2 draw."
A bright start by Stanley saw them create half chances, before wideman Miles opened the scoring after a sweeping move presented him with a chance just inside the box, which he made no mistake with.
For Coleman the opening stages were the highlight of the 90 minutes.
"We did well in patches. In the first 20 minutes I thought we were very bright; passed it, pressed the game, played with a good tempo and then possibly started to give them too much respect and backed off. If you back off them they’ve got quality players who will hurt you."
After the break McConville added a second following a defensive mix-up, and it seemed like Stanley were en route to a morale-boosting win.
But with just minutes left, the Clarets earned a free kick, and Blake’s mishit effort squirmed under the Stanley wall and through the grasp of Ian Dunbavin.
That brought an onslaught from Burnley, and allowed Thompson to turn and beat Dunbavin in the final stages.
"I’m a bit disappointed with the first goal because it’s just a misunderstanding in our wall, and the second goal is a good finish," said the Stanley chief.
"It’s probably a good workout for both teams."
Despite the frustration of only drawing, Coleman could understand why his side conceded late - and Stanley are still unbeaten in pre-season.
"We had made a lot of changes by the end and the weight of pressure told on us. There are a lot of young lads on there, and they’ll come on for the experience."
And, according to the boss, it was a learning curve for his side against a side full of class.
"Burnley have got some magnificent players and you saw in cameos some of the things they did," he said. "I think they are going to be a breath of fresh air to the Premiership."
After a good performance from the Reds, one player in particular came in for praise.
"We think John Miles should chip in with more goals," he said.
"It’s a great finish, and he needs to get himself into the areas where he’ll get those chances. Sometimes he wants to start the play instead of getting on the end of things. If he can mix that up in his game he’ll get more goals."