EDDIE HOWE has backed Dan Burn to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad provided he maintains the form he has been showing with Newcastle United in the last couple of months.

Burn has never been capped by his country, but he was touted as a potential candidate for a place at the World Cup finals in Qatar at the end of last year, only to be overlooked as Southgate selected Luke Shaw, who started all of England’s matches, as his only natural left-back.

Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier can slot in at left-back, even though his more natural position is on the right, but with Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell still injured and Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell struggling for form, there is potentially a left-back slot available in the squad for March’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.

Burn’s versatility could also count in his favour, with Southgate having alternated between a back four and a back five throughout his England reign.

“Dan is probably silently very motivated by that,” said Howe, who was speaking ahead of this afternoon’s home game with Fulham. “I don't think it's something he would communicate necessarily to me or to his team-mates, maybe when pushed in the media possibly.

“But I think he is very much of the mindset that his performances speak for themselves, really, and that he would hope that they would be enough to be in contention.

“For me, he was very unlucky not to go to the World Cup, not putting pressure on Gareth but I would think he would have been very close. He just missed out, I think, and he's carried that form on.

The Northern Echo: Newcastle United defender Dan BurnNewcastle United defender Dan Burn

“Credit to Dan that he's carried that form on. The World Cup has ended, and that dream faded, but there's still time for him and his adaptability and versatility is potentially a real avenue and a route in for England, potentially.”

Burn joined Newcastle from Brighton last January, and his impact on his hometown team has been considerable, both on and off the field.

His professionalism and leadership qualities have made him a key member of the first-team group, while his on-field performances at both centre-half and left-back have been superb, culminating in Tuesday’s display against Leicester that saw him score the opening goal of Newcastle’s Carabao Cup quarter-final success.

“If you're going to sign a player of Dan's age and of that profile, you hope it goes as his story has,” said Howe. “I think he has improved.

“He's done a very, very good job in whatever position I've asked him to play, he's embraced everything that the club stands for and I think he's got a winning mindset.

“He's not here just to play for Newcastle, he wants to achieve, so it's turned out to be a very good transfer for us.”