Clarets winger Dwight McNeil continues to take everything in his stride
Burnley’s teenage winger Dwight McNeil continues to take everything in his stride despite spending the international break rubbing shoulders with England’s senior side.
The 19-year-old had teamed up with Paul Simpson’s group at St George’s Park ahead of games against Poland and Portugal but was invited to join Clarets team-mates Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski in training by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
“It was a good week away, a good 10 days with England despite the two results which we got beat in,” he said. “It was a good experience.
“We were still prepping for the Poland game - which was two days away at the time. I was having breakfast with the 20s and the manager came over to tell me I’ll be having breakfast and training with the seniors. I thought I did really well.
“You’ve just got to take it as if you’re training with the lads here. I was up against Kyle Walker - it’s good to learn from them really. It was a good learning curve for me. All of the lads were really welcoming, it makes training easier.
“He [Gareth Southgate] just said to me before the session started to go out and express myself and then he said I did really well, which was a good confidence boost for me.”
The former Manchester United youngster, who had scored against Leicester City prior to that, went on to net his third goal of the season against Wolves as well as laying on the opener.
McNeil supplied the set-piece that led to Conor Coady’s own goal inside 90 seconds and then beat Rui Patricio with a superb left-footed effort in the 77th minute.
“It was a big game for us and we got the three points we needed,” said McNeil. “It’s a big win. We’ve got six big games coming up, we’ve got to take them one at a time and get the results to hopefully stay in the Premier League.
“I think it’s good for me, I’ve got to add that to my confidence, but I’ve got to keep up doing this in games.
“I’m always told to be positive in everything I do. In the final third you’ve got to express yourself and all I wanted was half a yard and the defender gave me that. I thought I took my opportunity well.
“I had a slight look up and I saw the keeper coming over which gave me the opportunity to put it across goal.”