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Dwight McNeil willing to wait for England chance

:Headline: Dwight McNeil willing to wait for England chance:
The teenager has impressed since breaking into the Burnley side.
PA | 2mo

Dwight McNeil has told England's young crop of talent they should be patient as they wait for first-team chances in the Premier League.

The 19-year-old continued his rapid rise in the game with a starring role in Burnley's 2-0 win over Wolves on Saturday after an international break which saw him train with England's senior squad while on duty with the under-20s for the first time.

The likes of Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi and Manchester City's Phil Foden have endured a frustrating wait to get their own chances and others have looked abroad but McNeil – who has been a regular for Burnley since Christmas – urged them to bide their time.

"Some of them are frustrated but you've got to be patient like I've been," said McNeil, who joined Burnley's youth system from Manchester United in 2014.

"When you get your chance you've got to take it and I think I've done that really well."

McNeil said the chance to train with Gareth Southgate's squad came as a surprise, but it was an opportunity he relished.

"I just got told over breakfast by (England Under-20s manager) Paul Simpson," he said.

"I wasn't nervous, I thought I've got to take it like any training session with the lads. They were all really welcoming, which made it easier.

"Gareth just told me to enjoy it, to express yourself and after he said I did really well so it's a good confidence boost for me."

That confidence was on show on Saturday as McNeil played a key role in Burnley ending a damaging run of four straight defeats with a win over Wolves which eases their relegation worries.

It was the left-winger's free-kick which led to the opening goal inside two minutes, inadvertently bundled in by Conor Coady after Chris Wood's shot struck a post, and he made sure of the points with a fine strike in the 77th minute.

"I'm always told to be positive in everything I do and in the final third to express myself," he said of his goal.

"All I wanted was half a yard and the defender gave me that. I had a slight look up and saw the keeper was coming over and that gave me the opportunity to put it across goal."

McNeil now has three goals and four assists for Burnley in the Premier League, putting him level with Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon for the most goal involvement by a teenager this season, and boss Sean Dyche praised him for the role he has played in turning around the Clarets' season.

"Hopefully I can stay in the team, but the main thing is staying in the Premier League," McNeil added. "We're all in it together."

While Burnley celebrated, the result was a setback for Wolves and one from which they must quickly recover ahead of Tuesday's match against Manchester United and next Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Watford.

"They played out the perfect game plan," said defender Matt Doherty. "The goal right at the start was a killer and we were up against it from the get-go.

"We won't get distracted at all. We're not even thinking about next week. We've got a huge game on Tuesday and that's our process now.

"We've got to put this game behind us now and think about Manchester United."



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