Burnley's Dwight McNeil enjoying his time with Young Lions

Burnley winger Dwight McNeil feels he's adapting well to life with the Young Lions after being called up to Aidy Boothroyd's squad for a second time.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 7:25 am
Burnley winger Dwight McNeil whips in a cross against West Ham United at Turf Moor

The unbeaten Group 3 leaders assembled at St George's Park this week ahead of tonight's UEFA Under 21 Championship qualifier against Albania at the Stadiumi Loro Boriçi.

The 19-year-old earned his first competitive cap in a 5-1 win over Austria at the Stadium MK a month ago, laying on the third goal for Leeds United loan man Eddie Nketiah.

Having also featured in a 2-2 draw in Slovenia, McNeil, named in L’Equipe’s list of the top 50 players Under 20 in Europe, said: "It should be a good one with two tough games coming up.

"It will be good to get back with the lads, they're both important games, and against Albania we can hopefully get some points on the board.

"Playing-wise it's totally different, but I think I adapted well to it last time. I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

"It gives you a better view of the whole game with different players, different managers, style. I think I adapted to it well last time and hopefully I'll keep it going."

The teenager, who turns 20 a week today, has continued from where he left off last season, which has caught the attention of a number of high profile clubs.

His run in Burnley's first team came full circle at the weekend as he produced a man of the match display in a 3-0 victory against West Ham United.

Having netted his first goal for the club in the corresponding fixture last term at Turf Moor, he put the ball on a plate for New Zealand international Chris Wood to score his fifth goal of the season.

McNeil has now been involved in 13 goals in the top flight, more than any other teenager in the competition since the start of last season.

"I didn't really think about what happened last year, I've just got to keep my mind on where we are now," he said. "I thought I took my chance really well again and I thought all the lads were excellent.

"I've learned a lot of things on and off the pitch since then, which is good and exactly what I need.

"We knew what we'd done wrong [against Sheffield United] and what we needed to do better and we showed that this week. We put it to one side, went again this week and got the three points.

"I think it was a really good performance from the lads, from minute one to the 90th minute we deserved the three points.

"It was a really disappointing game last week, but we pushed it to one side and got back to what we've been doing well."

The former academy player at Manchester United thought he'd bagged an assist earlier in the half when setting Wood up to power a header home.

However, after a prolonged and complicated VAR check, where Lee Mason was the official in place at Stockley Park, referee Kevin Friend chalked the goal off.

McNeil said: "It's just one of those things. The linesman hasn't given it (offside) so when it's no goal you've got to stay in the game and remain mentally focussed, which we did really well. I was happy to actually get an assist afterwards.

"I was kind of annoyed because I work on that type of cross every day in training. It was a good ball from myself, but I think we did well to carry on with that same level of performance and we got the three points. I thought we deserved them.

"I'm always looking for that cross, as long as it's the right thing to do. I think that's one of my stronger areas and I've shown that today.

"I know they [the strikers] are always going to be there, it helps when you've got two big lads up there who can put the chances away."