STEVE Stone felt first team trio Nick Pope, Steven Defour and Stephen Ward played a vital role as Burnley's Under-23 side beat Fleetwood Town 1-0 in the last eight of the Lancashire Senior Cup on Monday afternoon.

A Cian Bolger own goal separated the sides with Pope and Ward completing 90 minutes while Defour played 71.

All three will hope to be involved in Sean Dyche's thoughts for Saturday's Premier League trip to Watford and Under-23 boss Stone was pleased with the impact the three experienced players made.

He said: “Popey came for crosses and was excellent. You always get that and it takes a lot of pressure off you.

“Steven Defour played some really good stuff in tight areas and helped the team in terms of the passing.

“He understands where the space is on the pitch, hits long and short passes and knows the game.

“He’s really good for our lads alongside him and even though he doesn’t speak as much as Stephen (Ward), by doing what he does they learn, whereas Wardy is vocal and pushing and pulling people into the right areas.

“He’s demanding of the lads and that’s what first team is all about.”