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Dyche Proud Of Lions

Burnley boss welcomes call-ups as Clarets trio get England nod

14 March 2019

Sean Dyche has welcomed an England call-up for three of his players as youth and experience is included in the international fold.

Clarets’ captain Tom Heaton and defender James Tarkowski have both been re-called to the senior England squad following injury absences.

And winger Dwight McNeil has been rewarded for his outstanding run of Premier League performances with a first inclusion in the Under-20 squad.

“The number of internationals is a really pleasing side-effect of all the varying success we’ve had over the years,” said Dyche, who will have seven of his first-team squad away with their countries following Saturday’s visit of Leicester City.

“The sheer number of call-ups we get now, compared to when we came, is radically different and particularly with England it had been many a year since a player had been called up.

“It’s very pleasing for the players, who deserve it, but also pleasing for the club in where it now stands.”

Heaton will be challenging to win a first cap since June, 2017 after recovering from a shoulder injury and winning back his starting place in Burnley’s goal at the end of December as Dyche’s men kicked off an unbeaten eight-game league run.

And Tarkowski has earned his selection from England boss Gareth Southgate after returning to fitness and form following hernia surgery last summer which forced him out of a couple of previous squads.

“It’s good for Tom. He has deserved it with his performances and the way he generally goes about his business,” added Dyche.

“I think it’s important to refence a credit to Gareth in the sense that Tom was in there under Roy (Hodgson) and now Gareth.

“He’s obviously well thought of in the camp, so it’s good for him and good for us.

“Equally for Tarky. Since Christmas his form has been good and Gareth has been at a number of our games, so he knows what he’s about.”

McNeil’s inclusion caps a remarkable start to 2019 for the former Clarets’ youth-team player who has started Burnley’s last 11 top-flight games.

Dyche believes his call-up is fully warranted and feels the left-sided player – who made his full senior debut for the Clarets in the Europa League last August – can’t be too far off consideration for the Under-21s.

“That’s a great thing for him. I think he deserves it and he continues to earn the right to have all these good things to happen to him,” added the Burnley boss.

“He has merited it because when you look around there are not that many 19-year-olds playing regularly in the Premier League and he’s been doing that.

“I think when you are playing in this league it’s a whole new challenge than playing development football, but it’s a great career progression for him and another step on the ladder that he keeps climbing.

“Knowing (Under-21 boss) Aidy Boothroyd as I do, he’ll keep an eye on him too because he will be looking at him for the future.

“I’ve mentioned Dwight to him casually and I would never put any international manager under pressure because I know how difficult it is picking my own squad and getting results.

“But I know Aidy will have Dwight on the radar at least, because of what he’s seen.”

The Clarets’ international contingent will be looking to sign off from the Premier League on a high against Leicester at Turf Moor.

Dyche reported no fresh injury worries for the visit of the Foxes and confirmed there remains a possibility that former England winger Aaron Lennon – sidelined since December following knee surgery – could figure before the end of the campaign.

“He’s got a chance in the next few weeks. We’ll see,” he said.

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