We haven't peaked yet - Kenny McLean beams at Norwich City return
Kenny McLean is only interested in looking forward in his Norwich City career - and that is an exciting prospect.
It’s already more than a year since the Scotland international became a Canaries player and while his loan spell at Aberdeen for the second half of last season was part of the plan, McLean’s lengthy injury absence on his debut campaign in England certainly wasn’t.
But with his first two goals making a match-winning contribution in a crunch Carrow Road clash with in-form Championship promotion rivals Bristol City, McLean’s best contribution so far was still worth the wait.
“It’s been a long time coming for me,” acknowledged the 27-year-old, who missed five months of the campaign after an ankle injury in August.
“I’ve been having a tough season through injury. I’ve been back fit for a while but I’ve had to be patient and wait for my turn.
“Mario (Vrancic) has been in there, Tom Trybull, boys who have been playing excellent so it’s just been up to me to keep working hard in training and then take my chance when I get it.
“It’s been tough, especially after a hard pre-season. I was feeling good and then the injury was frustrating, and there were plenty of setbacks. But that’s behind me now.
“It’s been excellent at times to watch us, of course. And winning most of the time, that is what kept me going when I was injured. The way the boys were playing, I was just desperate to be involved when I was out and thankfully now I’m back fit – the injury is well behind me – I’m just looking forward.
“The bench is so strong and that was evident again but I don’t think it puts pressure on when you do get that chance because the manager is excellent. He lets you go and express yourself. He just wants 100pc from you.”
McLean’s own role was adapted by head coach Daniel Farke at half time, at which point Norwich were 2-1 down and searching for a way to preserve their Championship lead.
By full time Norwich had taken another small step closer to their end goal and McLean was left vowing there is still room for improvement.
“We changed it a bit and I did play a bit deeper – but the boss still gives me the freedom to go and join in with the front four,” added McLean.
“I can get up with play when I can, and that was the second goal – I got up with play, caught the second ball and finished it. The first goal, I was in the box but the first half I played a bit further forward. The second we tinkered with it, changed the shape and it worked.
“I think you can always do better. As players, we can sometimes be a bit overcritical with ourselves. I will watch it back and have a look at what I could’ve done better.
“Of course it’s all about the three points and it’s going to be like that for the rest of the season. But we know we can get better, which is an excellent thing really.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…