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No complaints for Burnley substitute Stock
IF Brian Stock had his way he would be in the starting XI and not on the bench for Burnley. But the midfielder insists he can have no complaints about not playing at present.
With the Clarets leading the Championship pack 11 games into the campaign, through a run of five straight league wins, there has been little room for manoeuvre in September manager of the month Sean Dyche’s selection.
Stock would prefer to be in the thick of it, of course.
But the midfielder is prepared to put up with a watching brief while the team are riding high.
“You can’t argue about not getting into a team if they’re winning every week,” said the 31-year-old, who has been limited to five appearances this season – all from the bench.
“The performances have been terrific this year, the energy and determination that have been shown have been brilliant. It’s really good times at the club.
“Although I’ve not played much football and just played bit-parts here and there, I’m fully committed to the club and want us to win every week.
“I’d love for us to get promoted, it would be a dream.”
Stock knows it would be a big ask to retain top spot for the duration, particularly with a small squad. But he feels what they lack in numbers they make up for in mentality.
“For me the biggest thing is what goes on behind the scenes in the club. You’ve got a really good tight knit squad and every single person wants to win, be it the team that’s starting or the people on the bench,” said Stock, who is no exception to that philosophy.
“Whether I play football or I don’t, I’m part of a successful team.
“I’ve played in teams where you’ve got one or two who say ‘I hope we lose today’ or ‘I hope he has a bad game’ or ‘I hope he gets injured’ or ‘I hope he gets suspended’. There’s none of that. I’ve not heard any of that this season.
“I think the manager deserves a lot of credit for how he’s transferred the mentality in the group and it’s a very strong mentality.
“I think if anyone does start to come off the gas or if anyone doesn’t train as hard as we have been it’s going to stand out now because the group are going to leave them behind.”
And after helping the club’s development squad progress in the inaugural Under 21s Premier League Cup on penalties against Wigan in midweek, Stock feels that work ethic is filtering through all levels at the club.
“The fitness levels we showed towards the end against Wigan I think epitomises what we are at the club,” said the former Bournemouth and Doncaster midfielder, who requested to play to boost his fitness levels.
“If you take comparisons to the first team and what we’re like in the Championship, I think it’s starting to take effect right through the club,” he said.
“You can see the lads out there, young lads 19 and 20 running their hearts out, and I know the gaffer will be pleased with that because that’s what he wants his players to do.
“There are a lot of lads who did themselves no harm.
“All the team beliefs that we have on a first team level I’ve seen in the under 21 match.
“Everyone’s habits are becoming a natural thing throughout the whole of the club.
“The habits are starting to go right through the club now at every level, and when these players do step up it’s going to be a seamless transition. It will gear them up for what could be a potential first team place.”
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