Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes Dwight McNeil has the talent to play for one of world football’s “superpowers”.
The 21-year-old scored a brilliant goal in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Everton, having already provided the assist for Chris Wood’s opener, and was one of the standout performers in a win which lifted the Clarets seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Dyche accepts the demands he puts on his players in terms of defensive requirements does not necessarily help McNeil’s more attacking instincts, but he believes that will stand him in good stead for when he eventually takes a step up and inevitably leaves Turf Moor.
“He continues to develop and sometimes goes under the radar. He won’t be under the radar after that goal,” said Dyche, whose side inflicted a fifth league defeat in the last seven at home for Everton.
“I believe one day he will go on to bigger and better than Burnley, maybe one of the superpower clubs and they will marvel at the work he does for the team as what he can do with the ball.
“There is a healthy balance to his development. For him as a person, he has such a conscientious view of his performance it is almost overpowering.
“I think he puts too much pressure on himself. He demands a lot of himself, which is a great quality to have but sometimes too much.
“Sometimes he comes in after a game and looks broken because he hasn’t done the things he wanted to do. Sometimes you have to lighten up.
“He is very good player and can only get better.
“He works incredibly hard – people sometimes forget that. He’s learning on that side of the game.”
McNeil’s goal was the highlight of what was a fairly complete display for Dyche’s side, who out-played and out-fought Everton in the first half and could easily have been 4-0 up before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 14th Premier League goal of the season reduced the deficit.
The result opened up a cushion to the bottom three after Fulham’s defeat but Dyche, who has guided Burnley to wins at Liverpool and Everton in the same season for the first time, is not looking at the table.
“We’ve come a long way since having two points in the first seven games,” he said.
“The mentality has never wavered. I couldn’t be more proud of the players for that, let alone winning games.
“I think we’ve only had one loss in seven. I know Everton’s home record is up and down but they are a good outfit.
“We’ve had some good performances: we weren’t so bad the other week down the road at Liverpool.”