McLean enjoying life in Germany as Canaries work on team bonding
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City know there are likely to be some difficult days during their Premier League campaign, which makes team bonding all the more crucial during pre-season.
While hopes are high that Daniel Farke's champions will have enough about them to kick on in the top flight, sporting director Stuart Webber has already warned that bouncing back from losses against the big boys will be hugely important - on and off the pitch.
So alongside the intense fitness training of City's pre-season training camp in Germany, there has also been the tradition of the new boys singing an initiation song of their choice in front of their team-mates after dinner and excursions will also allow for team bonding,
"It's great," midfielder Kenny McLean said of the mood in the Canaries camp. "They've settled in really well but when you look at the players we've brought in, the manager and Stuart have obviously identified characters as well, the way we play as a group. So it's been easy for them to adapt and easy for us to get to know them."
Part of that team bonding included going out on a bike ride yesterday, as part of the recovery work from a 2-2 draw with Bundesliga II side Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.
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The preparations for the Premier League will step up another level on Friday against Schalke (5.30pm UK time), who had a disappointing last season in the Bundesliga but reached the last 16 of the Champions League.
McLean continued: "Again it will be a tough game but we want to get ourselves ready for the season, so we want to play tough games. We'll get more work in through the week and we'll be in a good place."
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Another interesting element of the Bielefeld opener was the first sight of the new goal-kick laws, which allow defenders to receive the ball in the penalty area, leading to City players poised on the edge of the box ready to pounce as the opposition tried to play out from the back.
The Scotland midfielder explained: "We work on it, we always do in terms of goal-kicks and playing out from the back, it's always the way we've done that and with the way the head coach is that will never change.
"We all enjoy that, we love playing that way, it's just good to be involved in. It's a slight change but something we'll adapt to."