Jolley backs Massanka to make the grade with Clarets

Michael Jolley tries to rally the trooops before extra time. Burnley U21s v Blackburn Rovers U21s, Turf Moor, November 9th 2015. Photos: Kelvin Stuttard
Michael Jolley tries to rally the trooops before extra time. Burnley U21s v Blackburn Rovers U21s, Turf Moor, November 9th 2015. Photos: Kelvin Stuttard
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Development Squad coach Michael Jolley feels teenager Ntumba Massanka is conveying the necessary attributes to progress to the first team at Turf Moor.

The 18-year-old scored for the fourth time in the Under 21 Premier League Cup in the behind closed doors midweek defeat to Blackburn Rovers on home soil.

Ntumba Massanka volleys the Clarets into the lead. Burnley U21s v Blackburn Rovers U21s, Turf Moor, November 9th 2015. Photos: Kelvin Stuttard

Ntumba Massanka volleys the Clarets into the lead. Burnley U21s v Blackburn Rovers U21s, Turf Moor, November 9th 2015. Photos: Kelvin Stuttard

Massanka, who put pen to paper on a 12-month contract at the end of his scholarship, has hit 12 goals in 11 starts and his form is being monitored by Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

Following the departures of Marvin Sordell and Jelle Vossen coupled with an injury list including Ashley Barnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz, the Clarets now have four fit strikers in record signing Andre Gray, Welsh international Sam Vokes, former Everton man Chris Long and German forward Rouwen Hennings.

Speaking about Massanka, who is pushing for progression alongside the likes of Dan Agyei, Jamie Frost and Jason Gilchrist, Under 21s boss Jolley said: “It’s really for the manager to decide.

“The manager’s fully aware of Ntumba and what he’s capable of and he’s spoken about the progression he has made this year.

“It’s the manager who makes those calls.

“He (Massanka) has just got to stick at it like all the young guys and if they get a break to play a part in the first team then I’ll be really happy.

“He got another really good goal (on Monday). He’s a real threat and a difficult player to play against because he’s quick and he runs hard.

“He gives us a lot.”

Jolley added: “He’s a real team player. Apart from his goals he runs really hard and he gives us the option to play the ball in behind the defenders and he gets after it.

“He’s finishing well and he’s into double figures now for the season so we’re really happy, but he’s got to keep at it and keep working hard and hopefully at some stage he’ll get a chance.

“We’re really pleased with him and he’s improving quickly.

“If he can continue to work hard at his game as he is doing then he’s got a bright future, definitely.”