Burnley winger Dwight McNeil feels he is getting back to his best
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The 21-year-old winger turned in one of his most eye-catching displays for the Clarets in the 2-1 win at Everton on Saturday evening, scoring a sublime second and impressing with his work on and off the ball.
It was a first goal away from Turf Moor for the home-grown talent, and only a second of the season, after his strike in the 3-2 win at home to Aston Villa.
McNeil started every Premier League game, bar one, up to the Christmas period - a run of 71 consecutive appearances – before a groin injury sidelined him over Christmas and new year.
Boss Sean Dyche admitted at the time: “I think it was a rare injury that came at a good time.
“I didn’t want to leave him out as he never showed signs of stopping with his work ethic.
“But it’s kind of given him a freshness and he’s popped back up again.”
And McNeil believes he is starting to hit the high notes again: “It’s difficult when you can be out of form, but you’ve got to have the confidence and belief, and it helps when you have the gaffer and the players around you to keep lifting you and keep that belief within yourself.
“It can be hard at times, but I think I’m getting back there, like I showed.”
All McNeil’s first six goals for the club came at home, and he admitted his curler at Goodison Park was a special moment: “It's been a while, but I was just happy to get the first goal away from home but more importantly to get the three points.
“I drifted inside and Vyds picked me out. I had to beat my first man. I did that and I saw the angle to shoot and I was fortunate to find the top corner.
“I had the slight feeling it might be in when it left my foot. It will be nice to sit down and watch that one again.”
His brilliant effort put Burnley well in command, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit the post before Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back.
But the Clarets managed the game well in the second half to claim a big three points, which moved Burnley seven clear of the drop zone: “It was nice to be two-up away from home, but then they got one back and we knew at the start of the second half they would come out with a different type of tempo which they did.
“They raised it but we still created chances in the second half.
”We could have scored more goals. We didn't, but the main thing is we got three points and closer to safety.
“We've had a few draws, but we've still been getting points on the board which is the main thing, but it's nice to get the three points, especially away from home, and get us closer to safety.
“We've just got to go again after the international break and keep doing what we're doing.”