Burnley full back Charlie Taylor has confessed to being Dwight McNeil’s biggest fan.
The pair made their first start together in the 1-1 draw against Olympiakos in the second leg of the Europa League play-off at Turf Moor nearly 18 months ago.
Since then they’ve lined up alongside each other 29 times in the Premier League and their partnership has continued to go from strength to strength.
The 26-year-old former Leeds United defender said: “I’ve said numerous times, I’m his biggest fan.
“I love playing with him, I know when I give him the ball I can get it back and he links really well. He’s a special talent and his career is just starting off.
“For someone so young to be playing week in, week out, there’s not many in the Premier League doing that at his age. We’re lucky to have him.”
Taylor was sidelined with a groin injury at the start of the campaign and was then withdrawn against Crystal Palace with a hamstring strain at the end of November.
But he’s played his part in six of the club’s nine clean sheets in the top flight this term and starred in the goalless draw at home to Arsenal in his latest outing.
“I think I’m getting better and better with each game, I’m getting more experience, more exposure to the Premier League.
“It can only help. You’re learning on the job and I’m learning every game coming up against new opponents every week. It’s hard but it’s where I want to be and where everyone wants to be.”
Having taken seven points from games against Leicester City, Manchester United and the Gunners, Taylor is unsure whether the enforced winter break has come at a good time.
The Clarets will have a weekend off and will then travel south to St Mary’s to take on Southampton on February 15th.
“The top clubs play a lot of games and I think they probably need it more than us,” said Taylor.
“We’re on a good run at the minute so it’s not come at a great time but we’ll use it to our advantage, be fresh for the run in.
“People would probably like it more over the Christmas period but it’s famous in this country with all the fixtures.
“You get to February and you just want to crack on with the rest of the season.”
He added: “It’s new and I think the big teams will welcome it more than us, those in the Champions League and the cups.
“For us, with the Premier League just being the main aim you play once a week so we’re relatively fresh.
“Lads know what they’ve got to do, they’ve go to stay fit because the next game is never too far away.”