Burnley winger Dwight McNeil maintaining his high standards

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Dwight McNeil of England U21s trains during an England Media Access day at St Georges Park on October 07, 2019 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Dwight McNeil of England U21s trains during an England Media Access day at St Georges Park on October 07, 2019 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Sean Dyche hailed Dwight McNeil’s consistency, as he closes in on a first England Under 21 cap.

The teenage Clarets wideman – who has already represented England at Under 20 level – received his first call up at the older age group last month, but withdrew through injury.

However, he is back in Aidy Boothroyd’s 23-man squad for games against Slovenia and Austria.

The Young Lions are in Maribor for a match against the 2021 U21 EURO host nation tonight, before a qualifier against Austria in Milton Keynes on Tuesday.

McNeil, who trained with the senior squad in March, got another call-up to get involved with Gareth Southgate’s group on Tuesday, along with Phil Foden of Manchester City, Chelsea’s Reece James and Brentford goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe, currently on loan with Viborg in Denmark.

McNeil has started the last 27 Premier League games for Burnley, and has made himself a key component of the side in that time.

The only time he really stepped off his performance level was in the first half of the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle in February – when he was not alone in a disappointing display.

McNeil was taken off at half-time at St James’, but has three goals in 30 Premier League appearances in total, with seven assists.

Dyche said: “He was very good again against Everton, he continues to defy the logic of young players, because when they go in they often have a quiet spell, and it might still come, but it hasn’t so far.

“His quality meant he has taken on a full back (Seamus Coleman) who has played hundreds of games in the Premier League and is an international player, and gave him a challenge as he has done with many others. He is a very, very good player and continues to improve.”