CLARETS midfielder Brian Stock feels his team-mates put blood, sweat and tears into their performance against Charlton.
The 30-year-old, signed from Doncaster Rovers by former boss Eddie Howe in August, believes the players and fans can take a lot of heart out of the clash, despite falling to a 1-0 defeat following Kieran Trippier’s questionable dismissal.
“What every fan really wants is to see their players give everything for the shirt,” said Stock.
“If I was going to come here and pay my money I would want to see every person give blood, sweat and tears. I think everyone did that by getting stuck in and giving everything they had for 90 minutes.
“I’d be surprised if any supporters weren’t pleased with that. They also deserve credit for the way they stuck with the team. Being given a standing ovation is a great way to leave the pitch after the game.”
Trippier was red-carded after quarter-of-an-hour when match official Robert Madley had deemed the full-back to have deliberately handled Rob Hulse’s effort on the line. But Stock was delighted with the response shown by the Clarets after being reduced to 10 men.
“The lads have given everything they’ve got,” he said.
“The referee’s decision has probably gone against us. Tripps said it wasn’t handball but I was just pleased with the reaction of the players.
“We can take a lot of heart out of the way we conducted ourselves after that sending off. The manner in which we played, particularly at the start of the second half, you wouldn’t have known we were down to 10 men.
“We restricted them to a limited number of chances and we created quite a few. It was a tough afternoon for us, the lads gave everything they had, but unfortunately we got beat. I think some managers would say that you learn more from a performance like that in a defeat than you would in a win.”
Stock added: “The manager said after the game that it didn’t feel like a defeat to him and he saw a really positive performance. It’s important that we dust ourselves down, because we’ve got two away games now and we need to take those positives from today and move on.”
The Clarets were galvanised after Lee Grant saved Johnnie Jackson’s spot kick and showed spectacular character to control the Championship fixture with 10 men.
Even after conceding a 69th-minute header from Danny Haynes the home side refused to let that mentality, or their discipline, slip.
“That’s the most important thing really and the manager has instilled that in us – to rise above any disappointment,” Stock said.
“We did that today, we got together, and Dean Marney did a great job of filling in at right-back which isn’t his natural position. That epitomised the performance really.
“The lads have left everything on that pitch. Everyone deserves a bit of credit. Lee Grant has kept it at 0-0 with a terrific penalty save and it gave us a platform to hold on to and maybe nick a goal. It’s unfortunate that from the one or two attempts they had in the second half they scored.
“It was frustrating to concede, a bit of a blow for us, but we kept going.
“I’ve been in teams where we’ve gone 1-0 down or even been reduced to 10 men and we’ve just crumbled as a team.
“We rose above everything and kept going. They’re a good side, they’ve got some good players and some individual match winners yet we limited them to very few chances.
“With a man down we took the game to them and on another day we could’ve nicked a result.”
Stock found his opportunities limited under Howe, making just two league starts. But Stock was drafted in to the starting XI by caretaker boss Terry Pashley against Blackpool and hasn’t looked back since, forming a resilient bond with midfield duo Chris McCann and Dean Marney in the process.
“I think Chris and Dean Marney are really strong going forward,” he said. “Obviously when I play that holding role it gives them that licence to get forward. Whether the manager wants to play that formation every week I don’t know but in the last few weeks it has worked and we look strong as a team.”