Daniel Farke weighs up Millwall midfield dilemma

Kenny McLean laid down a marker with a match-winning brace against Bristol City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Kenny McLean laid down a marker with a match-winning brace against Bristol City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Sentiment will be in short supply when Daniel Farke decides his central midfield axis for Norwich City's Championship trip to Millwall.

Farke admitted Kenny McLean deserved to get the nod to partner Tom Trybull in the 3-2 win over Bristol City, and was rewarded with a match-winning brace from the Scottish international.

But with Mario Vrancic and Moritz Leitner fit and available all bets are off for this weekend’s trip to the Den, although 35pc of fans polled in an online PinkUn vote would be happy if Farke kept faith with the same duo.

“It is important at the crunch time of the season you have all your players available,” he said. “My feeling was we go with Kenny (against Bristol City). It was not an easy decision but perhaps the right decision. My feeling was he deserved his chance in a home game.

“Of course with Mario we have an unbelievably experienced lad who was so good before the injury but he had not really trained for the whole week prior to the game, but I wanted him on the pitch at the end. The same with Moritz Leitner.

“He was crucial for us in the first part of the season but has been out for three months. It is not easy for a player who is in the heart of the game and is responsible for setting the rhythm to return with the same level of performance.

“He is still on the comeback trail and this now means he has another week.”

McLean had to bide his time after recovering from ankle surgery that wrecked his attempts to play a leading role, following his permanent move from Aberdeen.

“Perhaps it is a sign that in football sometimes you have to be patient,” said Farke. “The lad had a really difficult start to the season with his injury and had to wait.

“Then you are greedy to be involved immediately but you have to trust the coach to bring you in at the right time.

“We all had this feeling this is the right time. He was brilliant in training for the past two or three weeks.

“He proved it at Bolton and also in that game.

“There is still space for improvement because I was not happy with his behaviour in the moment that led to their second goal. We spoke about this at half-time and after the game, but in general, a really good performance and two crucial goals.

“I am so happy for Kenny. He works so hard in training and grabbed his reward.”

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