Burnley winger Dwight McNeil would love another crack at Europe

England Under 21 international Dwight McNeil would love the opportunity to experience European football once again with Burnley.

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos of Olympiakos is challenged by Dwight McNeil of Burnley during the UEFA Europa League qualifying second leg play off match between Burnley and Olympiakos at Turf Moor on August 30, 2018 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos of Olympiakos is challenged by Dwight McNeil of Burnley during the UEFA Europa League qualifying second leg play off match between Burnley and Olympiakos at Turf Moor on August 30, 2018 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old winger's first start for the Clarets came in the home leg of the Europa League play-off against Greek Super League record-holders Olympiacos nearly 18 months ago.

McNeil, who had made his debut against this weekend's opponents AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor in the final game of the 2017/18 campaign, played 75 minutes of the tie before being replaced by Chris Wood.

Burnley, who had beaten Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir along the way, narrowly missed out on reaching the group stages as they lost 4-2 on aggregate.

"It would be great to get European football again, it would be great to have it on the CV.

"Playing in it last year was a really good experience, especially given how well the lads had played the season before.

"They fully deserved the chance and they were unlucky not to get through to the group stage.

"It was a new experience going to their place [Karaiskakis Stadium], it was a bit different, but at home I think we dominated the game and I think we deserved to go through.

"There was a tiny bit [of regret at not reaching the group stages]. We could tell with the way we started the season that it was new for everyone.

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"We didn't have that depth, it was a small squad. I think the lads adapted well to it and did well to stay up last year."

The Clarets secured European football for the first time in more than half-a-century when finishing seventh two seasons ago.

And they're well on course to make the qualifying rounds again after picking up 10 points from their last four fixtures in the Premier League.

It's still very circumstantial, but an eighth place finish could yet be enough to earn an invite to the continental party.

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Should that be the case then Burnley are just two points off the pace as things stand. "I would definitely love to have the opportunity again if it ever came to it," said McNeil. "I don't think anybody would have any doubts about doing it again.

"I think we'd all be more prepared because we've had the experience. Last time it was new to us, but next time we'd be more prepared and more experienced.

"It was different playing-wise, there were so many games and travelling around Europe was a bit different for us all really.

"Azza [Aaron Lennon] was the only one that had had the experience really. If we got there again we could handle it more, especially in the league.

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"The lads have had a bit of banter about it [Europe], but there hasn't been too much. We're just focussing on the league at the minute."