Dyche hails McNeil’s football intelligence after England call

Dwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil
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Sean Dyche has praised Dwight McNeil’s football intelligence after his first official England call-up.

The Clarets wideman has been named in Paul Simpson’s Under 20s squad, after some suggestion he could even break into Aidy Boothroyd’s Under 21s.

The 19-year-old has started Burnley’s last 13 games, including 11-successive Premier League outings, and has claimed four assists and a goal in that time.

He has been likened on social media to a man well known to Dyche, Ashley Young - who played in the same Watford side for two years before joining Aston Villa in 2007 - in his “ability to shift the ball and pinch himself half a yard and whip in a cross”.

But Dyche said: “They’re different types, Youngy was more, well, in the early days, an out and out winger, lithe and quick, and Dwight is more a modern winger in a sense where he plays inside, outside, and he can drift into good positions.

“He kind of drifts in centrally, because of his understanding of the wide role, but he has played in there with a three as well.

“There’s a cleverness to him, his understanding of the attacking side of the tactical shape of the team is very good.

“Some of it is natural, we haven’t over-coached him, he gets into good positions anyway.

“Really we’ve been coaching him on small details, not all the big stuff. You can overwhelm young players with too much, and we’ve shown him some clips and spoken to him about some things, but a lot of it is letting him go at the minute because he’s doing so well.”

The former Manchester United youngster is playing with a freedom at present that Dyche intends to encourage: “I think he continues to grow and make sense of it, it’s hard to explain when you’re young, but in a kind of free-flowing way, not over-thinking it, coming in training, doing the simple things well, getting himself prepared, and enjoying the challenge of it.

“I think that’s a good place to be, rather than too much over-coaching, and over-analysing, we’ve kept it quite simple, and so has he.

“He continues to get on with it and enjoy it.”