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Dream Day For Goalscorer McNeil

First Premier League goal a magic moment for Clarets' teenager

31 December 2018

Dwight McNeil lived out a lifelong dream by scoring his first senior goal for the Clarets.

McNeil became the first teenager to score a top-flight goal for Burnley in the Premier League era.

And the winger, 19, admitted his volleyed strike from an Ashley Westwood cross, which capped off a vital 2-0 win over West Ham at Turf Moor, had made it a memorable day.

“Everyone was saying before the game get to the back post and you will get goals,” said McNeil, following his second Premier League start.

“When it went in I couldn’t believe it. It was a great moment for me and my family.

“At first I didn’t think it had gone in but when I saw it I was really happy.

“It’s been a dream since I was a kid and now it’s come true.

“When you’re in the playground as a kid you always dream about scoring goals like that and it was amazing to get one.”

McNeil’s goal, which came after Chris Wood had set Sean Dyche's side on their way to victory, capped an outstanding performance from the Clarets’ Young Player of the Year, who joined Burnley’s Academy after leaving Manchester United in 2014.

The Rochdale-born wideman, whose father Matty played League football with Stockport County and Macclesfield Town, was given a first-team debut on the final day of last season when he appeared as a substitute against Bourneomouth.

Dyche has since elevated him to the senior set-up on a more permanent basis, giving him a taste of European football and a full Premier League debut against Manchester United earlier this season.

And the Burnley boss believes McNeil will only get better.

"I was confident in him, but equally that needs confidence from him," said Dyche.

"I think there’s a lot more to come from the kid, I really do. He can play, definitely, and I like his attitude to the game and his confidence will grow.

"It’s not easy when you are young and playing, but I thought he delivered a really rounded performance against West Ham and I was very pleased for him and I am sure his family will be very proud."

McNeil's efforts helped produce a vital win as Burnley brilliantly bounced back from a 5-1 defeat against Everton on Boxing Day.

A second victory in 13 games means only goal difference is keeping the Clarets in the relegation places ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to bottom club Huddersfield Town.

“It’s been a great day, an unbelievable feeling and great to get back to winning ways,” added McNeil.

“We could have had more. It was a really good performance and especially a great reaction from the lads after what happened the other day.

“We’ve just got to kick on now. We’ve got to take what we did today into Wednesday.”

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