Canaries midfielder sure eventful Bielefeld draw will prove beneficial

City midfielder Kenny McLean enjoyed his side's bruising encounter with Arminia Bielefeld yesterday Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

City midfielder Kenny McLean enjoyed his side's bruising encounter with Arminia Bielefeld yesterday Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

It may not have been the smoothest of starts to pre-season but Kenny McLean is confident Norwich City will be stronger for their eventful 2-2 draw with Arminia Bielefeld.

The Canaries had to come from behind and were helped by their opponents having a player sent off in the 35th minute, taking the lead by the break thanks to a fine Dennis Srbeny strike and a Josip Drmic penalty, only for the Blues to equalise late on.

"It was tough," McLean said after the friendly in Gutersloh yesterday. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, they're a couple of weeks away from their season so their fitness is probably ahead of where we are right now in our pre-season.

"But it was a good base for us, it was a tough game and it will stand us in good stead going forward."

Head coach Daniel Farke is really putting his team through their paces, with regular double sessions at their training base, but the Canaries players were able to shake off some cobwebs.

McLean added: "We trained this morning so we're putting a lot of load through the legs so it was always going to be tough, but that's what we want to build up, that resilience.

"Most of the boys played 45, it was a tough game but it's good to get minutes in the legs. It was the first game so it was always going to be a wee bit rusty at times but we're only going to get better from here."

RECAP: Norwich City 2 Arminia Bielefeld 2 - eventful start to pre-season for Canaries

McLean played two full games for Scotland in Euro 2020 qualifying in early June but doesn't feel that makes him any sharper than his team-mates - having been one of the few to play the full 90 minutes on Sunday.

"I had a break after that as well, so I'm in a similar position to the rest of the guys," he continued. "It was a longer break than usual so it's going to take us a bit longer to get going.

"But we've had a really good two weeks, we've got plenty through the legs, that was the first game and you've just got to keep progressing through pre-season."

Around 2,500 fans watched the game, including around 100 Norwich supporters, with McLean concluding: "They made themselves heard, it was nice, they want to get out watching us again because it's been a long time for them I'm sure and they'll be looking forward to the season starting.

"It's excellent for them to come out here and we appreciate that."

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