Burnley winger McNeil not taking anything for granted

Burnley's Dwight McNeil directs a close range headed effort off target''Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport''Emirates FA Cup Third Round - Burnley v Barnsley - Saturday 5th January 2019 - Turf Moor - Burnley' 'World Copyright � 2019 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Burnley's Dwight McNeil directs a close range headed effort off target''Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport''Emirates FA Cup Third Round - Burnley v Barnsley - Saturday 5th January 2019 - Turf Moor - Burnley' 'World Copyright � 2019 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
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He has started the last three games for the first team – landing two sponsors’ man of the match awards.

But young Clarets winger Dwight McNeil isn’t getting ahead of himself.

Indeed, he still has his breakfast with the Under 23 squad at the training ground.

The 19-year-old is showing the potential pathway for the academy players, and McNeil said of his Under 23 teammates: “They are all behind me, they love me at the minute!

“I still eat breakfast with the Under 23s because they are the lads that have been with me since day one.

“They take more belief from it I think, and they can ask me and I just try to help them as much as I can, because at the end of the day we are all in it together.”

Clarets boss Sean Dyche admitted last week that McNeil “has a natural feel for the game, for where the ball needs to be, and he can certainly deliver.”

And the former Manchester United youngster added: “I thought it would be harder than it has been to be honest but I have just taken it in my stride.

“I just try and treat everything as a normal game and not try and let the expectations and emotions get to me.

“I just try and be the most composed I can be.”

The fans have been encouraged to see a youth product progress – the last to become a regular was Jay Rodriguez, who left in 2012 – and McNeil admitted: “The fans are brilliant, they give you that extra confidence boost and that extra drive to win.

“It is brilliant to be part of it, the fans are excellent.”

McNeil will hope to start against Fulham tomorrow, where a Burnley win would make their situation somewhat healthier: “We have to take our last two performances in the league into that game, and hopefully the result takes care of itself. We have picked up a couple of wins now ,and as a team we have to keep that form going.

“They spent a lot of money in the summer but it is just getting used to the Premier League because they have just come up from the Championship and it is a hard league to get used to.”

McNeil has been involved with the England Under 20s, without making an appearance, and you would imagine the Under 21s will come knocking if he retains his place in the first team.

He said: “I have been on standby twice, the first one I went over to train and get a feel for it, which was good, but the second time I was just on standby.

“I will have to see what happens.”