ACADEMY chief Jonathan Pepper is enjoying being back on the training pitch during his spell in charge of Burnley Under-23s.

Pepper has been taking the development squad since Michael Duff left to become manager of League Two side Cheltenham Town on September 10.

The former Nottingham Forest academy coach and Bradford City academy manager has taken charge of the last six games with the Under-23s and has relished his chance to get back out on the training ground.

Pepper has previously been overseeing the academy as it received a Category Two Elite Player Performance Plan audit, but insists he's happy to help in any way he can at Burnley.

"I’m enjoying it, I’m enjoying getting out on the training field and being a hit closer to the lads. We’ll see what happens in the next month or so regarding whoever we tend to bring in," said Pepper.

"I’m happy to help out with the academy and whatever we need to do, there’s been a lot of work off the pitch in the last two years to get it in shape and remould what we’re doing.

"The academy looks a lot different compared to the last couple of years and we’ve got a lot of good staff in the academy at the moment running various programmes and levels.

"It does allow me to get out on the training pitch a little bit more. I’d like to thank the other staff who are running the ship on the other side of things.

"I’m here to help in whatever I need to do."

Duff had instilled the values of Burnley Football Club into his young charges before making the leap to start his own managerial career.

That is something Pepper has tried to continue in his time with the Under-23s and a trait he hopes remains in place when a new lead coach is appointed, with a shortlist set to be drawn up during the international break.

"Continuity can be important, Duffo knew this club inside out and I think it can be difficult to come in from outside and understand the culture from within the club," said Pepper.

"Whoever is recruited to the role it’s key to how they will be integrated into what we’re all about at Burnley."