BURNLEY boss Stan Ternent has pledged to look after his promising young players for the rest of this season - but also vowed to keep them involved.

Amid the disappointment of the 2-0 defeat at Norwich City at the weekend, he was boosted by the positive displays from two members of Terry Pashley's youth squad, winger Matty O'Neill and debutant midfielder Richard Chaplow.

O'Neill was making only his second appearance for the first team but he was beaten onto the pitch by Chaplow who was rewarded for a series of impressive displays in the reserves when he came on for experienced Gordon Armstrong.

"I wanted to get through to half time with Gordon's experience," said Ternent who brought Armstrong on in the 25th minute as Lee Briscoe was stretchered off.

"But I wanted to put Chaplow on for the second half and I thought he did very well.

"Both the young lads did well and as at the moment we have a lot of injuries and players out on loan, because of the financial situation, it is a good time to give one or two young lads a chance - but only if they are good enough!

"We have to be careful with them.

"We will just have to bring them on gently.

"We will be using them but at the same time we would like to win all our matches."

Ternent was again having to assess the fitness of his squad this morning with Briscoe the latest concern, joining Drissa Diallo, Ian Cox, Paul Cook, Andy Payton and Alan Moore on the injured list.

Arthur Gnohere will be available after suspension but the youngsters look certain to travel again.

With only 13 fit senior players, Chaplow and O'Neill were joined by Joel

Pilkington on the bench at Norwich.

One man who will be back in the Burnley squad tomorrow night is winger Brad Maylett who completed his loan spell at Swansea on Saturday.

"I have had to bring Brad back because we are thin on the ground," said Ternent this morning. "I won't know about the rest of the players until we have trained and i have spoken to the physio but at least Arthur is available."

The Clarets head south to promotion certainties Portsmouth tomorrow night hoping to put an end to a miserable run of away-days.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Norwich City was a fourth successive loss on the road, starting with the morale sapping setback at Watford in the FA Cup quarter-final.

The current run is just the derby win against Preston in the last ten games and the Clarets will be taking on a side that is still smarting from having lost top spot following a shock home defeat by bottom side Sheffield Wednesday.

"They will want promotion and will want to go up as champions," said Ternent. "It will be a good game to play in. It's a case of going out and being professional and giving 100 per cent because we have a responsibility to the other teams in this league.

"We are not going to get in the play-offs and we are not going to get relegated. We will be a first division side next season so there is no pressure on us so we should be able to go out and play without any fear.

"We will remain competitive to the end of the season."