Dwight McNeil is in the ideal dressing room to help him keep developing his burgeoning talent – according to Clarets’ captain Ben Mee.
McNeil enjoyed a stellar 14-month run prior to the enforced footballing shutdown, starting 47 of Burnley’s last 48 Premier League games.
The winger – still just 20 – is one of four ever-presents in Sean Dyche’s squad during the current campaign, which has stalled at 29 games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mee is another, and the Clarets’ defender believes the Turf Moor environment will continue to bring the best out of England Under-21 man McNeil, who has played a big part in helping Burnley into a top-10 spot.
“He’s coming out of his shell. He’s quite a quiet and modest lad, which is so endearing. He’s a great character and I think he’s come into his own,” said Mee.
“His performances on the pitch; you can tell. His shoulders go back and he can dominate a game and really take on a game for us.
“That helps him grow within the team. The lads here have got a lot of respect for him and know how good he is.
“We just want to help him progress and help him on his way to becoming the player he is.
“We have got an experienced group here who have been through a lot in football.
“He’s started out at a really good level and hopefully he can go on and do really well in the game. We want to help him out and keep him progressing.”
While McNeil has helped sharpen the Clarets’ cutting edge, Mee and his defensive colleagues have also played key roles at the other end of the pitch.
Goalkeeper Nick Pope has kept a league-high 11 clean sheets with four in the last six matches contributing to an on-going seven-match unbeaten run for Dyche’s men.
“The clean sheets are fantastic,” admitted Mee as part of a weekly round of remote broadcast interviews currently taking pace in the shutdown.
“I think when we are on it, defensively, we can be really tough to break down, a tough team to get past and difficult to beat.
“Going through the whole team, defending from the front, we all dig in and we all work hard for each other.
“That’s a big thing and have managed to do that on a number of occasions this season.
“We have let in a few goals in some games where we haven’t been happy, but we’ve kept a number of clean sheets, which is pleasing and that’s certainly helped us to get to where we are at the minute.
“Hopefully we can carry on when we get back and get a few more.”