McNeil withdraws from England Under-21s


Burnley midfielder Dwight McNeil has withdrawn from the England Under-21 squad after picking up a minor injury.

The 19-year-old had been promoted to the squad for the first time in his career, but he has now decided to focus on his fitness over the next fortnight instead after complaining of a tight calf last weekend.

McNeil played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as Burnley lost to Liverpool, but he suffered an injury during the game at Turf Moor.

He confirmed his decision to withdraw on Monday and will now miss the Young Lions’ games against Kosovo and Turkey.

McNeil has been a regular for the Under-20s, but Aidy Boothroyd must now wait before he can see him represent the U21s.

Burnley have failed to confirm a return date for the Rochdale-born midfielder, but reports suggest he will be able to return in time for the club’s clash with Brighton on September 14.

McNeil has now made 31 appearances for the Clarets since making his debut, but he has failed to score so far this season.

While manager Sean Dyche will be disappointed to lose McNeil, he was in attendance as Robbie Brady stepped up his return to first-team action. Brady completed his first 90 minutes since the Clarets’ pre-season campaign, but he was unable to help the Burnley Under-23s overcome Queens Park Rangers on Monday afternoon.

The Republic of Ireland international fractured his rib in July, but he showed signs he is nearly back to his best. Brady, who completed 75 minutes last week, showed his ability from dead-ball situations during the 0-0 draw against the R’s youngsters.

The game against Brighton may come too soon, but Dyche now has a number of options on the left-wing.

He has allowed Jimmy Dunne to leave the club, though, with the centre-back joining Fleetwood Town for the rest of the League One campaign.
Dunne has yet to play for Burnley, but he continues to impress while out on loan, having spent time at Sunderland and Hearts.

Like Brady, Dunne has represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-21 level and Fleetwood boss Joey Barton is expecting him to hit the ground running.

He told the club’s official website: “Despite his young age, he has a lot of experience and knows the division.

“We’re sure he will add to what is a really exciting squad, and we look forward to seeing his qualities in a Fleetwood Town shirt.”