STEVE Stone knows Burnley will have done their homework on Newcastle United ahead of Monday night's Turf Moor showdown. But the Clarets' newly appointed Under-23s coach is hoping his insider knowledge can benefit the first team too.

The former Nottingham Forest and England winger spent five years in his native north east, wearing a number of coaching caps for the Magpies, from Under 16s to first team coach.

And the love of his boyhood club has taken him back to St James' Park numerous times since he left in 2015.

But he admits, despite his background, he will be backing Burnley for the win on Monday, and doing anything he can to help.

"I'm from Newcastle, so I've been to watch them a lot," Stone explained, whose association with Burnley boss Sean Dyche, assistant Ian Woan and first team coach Tony Loughlan goes back to their early days at Nottingham Forest.

"It's been good to have a chat with Woany about what's going on, and how they play - just give them a little bit of a heads up, so it's nice to be feel part of what the first team are doing as well.

"Nick Ashby, one of our scouts, was up there the other weekend as well, so I've had a chat with him as well (about that), and obviously the relationship I have, the history I've had there.

"I love Newcastle United as a football club, I supported the club as a boy, but work is work!

"It actually makes it more special, you want to put one over on them, it's three points at the end of the day."

But while Burnley went into the international break on the back of a clean sheet and point at Leicester City, Newcastle had even better results in their efforts to climb away from the bottom three and moved ahead of Burnley on goal difference.

"Unfortunately we seem to be playing teams who have picked up a little recently, and they have because they've got everybody fit,” Stone added.

"Rafa (Benitez) is a top manager. I've watched him, especially at the start of this season, where he's been getting a bit of stick with the way they've been playing, how deep they've been dropping, but if you look at his goal difference, he's been clever about that.

"It's better than everybody else's at the bottom, he's shut up shop and realises his cup finals are against your Burnleys, and the teams around them.

"That's what he'll say.

“They've got the likes of (Salomon) Rondon fit, Kenedy has hit a bit of form again, and (Matt) Ritchie is a good player.

"They seem to be going in the right direction.

"But every game is ridiculously hard in the Premier League, it doesn't matter who you play.

"He's made them very hard to beat. Getting beat, and by a lot of goals, can drain confidence in the side, and that's what he's worked on.

"But Burnley got a good point at Leicester.

"If you've lost a few games, you have to start somewhere, with a nil, you can't lose then, and you can build from there.

“Any time you go away in the Premier League and get a clean sheet and a point, you've done a great job.”