McLean has a licence to thrill for City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke revealed he had been itching to get Kenny McLean into a more advanced role, after his eye-catching display in Norwich City’s Premier League win at Everton.
The Scottish international served up a number of key chances at Goodison Park, offered much-needed support to Teemu Pukki and had a pivotal impact in Todd Cantwell's opening goal.
"He was fantastic," admitted Farke. "It was the first time he played in that offensive attacking midfielder role and he produced an unbelievable workload. In terms of his tactical performance he always made the right decision, when to be like a second striker and get closer to Teemu, and when to drop in order to strengthen our centre a bit more.
"If you study the first goal, he linked the play with his head, which is different to playing with smaller, technical players in that part of the pitch.
"He can play different positions. When he is a bit deeper he can play those chipped passes or switches of play and the finishing passes. When he is closer to the goal he is a threat and wherever I need him he can do a job for me.
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"Really flexible and it is good to have those options in the squad.
"If I am really honest I was tempted to bring him to this role earlier than we did but when you don't have solid defenders then he is the type of player you need in a deeper role."
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Farke is urging his squad to follow up a first away win with another positive result at home to Arsenal on Sunday.
"We have spoken to the lads about the first 12 games being the start of our season and, yes, in terms of points it was a bit disappointing," he said. "But we have said the main part of the season starts here.
"This is when the table forms and in this part we want to show we can be competitive. To have a clean sheet win at Everton is a good start. In a dry period we were not too down and it's not like we now think we can compete for the Premier League title.
"Maybe we can create another sensation to stay in this league as a newly promoted side who haven't spent a huge amount.
"We know we need 10 or 11 wins and a few draws to stay in this league and that is the third win now, so it was important, and we go onto Arsenal in a good mood. Again, not the favourite but we were not the favourite against Everton either."