Kyle McClean programme article

Posted : 28th January 2019

New signing Kyle McClean said he was delighted to join up with Linfield on loan until the end of the season from Tommy Wright’s St. Johnstone in a recent interview with ‘Look at Linfield’.

“I’m delighted to join a club like Linfield, who are the biggest club in the country and I am really excited for the challenge ahead. Looking forward to working and learning from with the gaffer, Ross Oliver and Darren Murphy again who I’ve worked with previously at youth international levels.”

The 20-year-old midfielder was with Crusaders before being swooped up by Nottingham Forest. After leaving Forest in 2017, he was snapped up by a former Linfield player as Tommy Wright brought him to St. Johnstone. Things started well for McClean as he netted on his senior debut for the Saints against Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup. Opportunities have been limited for the Newtownabbey man this season and it is hoped that this loan spell at Windsor Park can help him develop.

“I scored on my full debut which was great at the time but to be honest I’m not looking too far ahead as my focus is here with Linfield. There are plenty of big games coming up, as you say if I get a run of games it could put me in contention at St Johnstone but that is something that will look after itself and I will look at my situation in the summer.

“I left here at 16 as a centre forward, through my time at Nottingham Forest I developed into a central midfielder. I am most comfortable playing centrally, but I have played in various positions across the midfield and on the right and left as well. I grew up watching the league and have a fair idea of what is ahead but that’s why I am here to learn and develop as a player. The Scottish game is very physical too, so it is something that I am used to.”

Having watched recent games, the Northern Ireland u21 international is aware that due to the impressive form of the midfield as present, he will have to be patient for an opportunity and grasp it when it comes along.

“In football every player has to be patient and I’m no different, especially when you come to a team like Linfield that have done so well up to now, I took a couple of games in over the new year during the Scottish winter break and the whole team has been playing excellent, but I’m looking forward to getting my head down and pushing for an opportunity. I believe in my ability and it is up to me to be ready to take any opportunities that come along.

“It can be strange coming into a new dressing room, especially in January half way through the season. I’ve only been here a week or so, but all the lads have been great, literally everyone I’ve met at the club have been so welcoming. It’s very similar to St Johnstone where there is a very good vibe in the dressing room.”

As Linfield look forward to taking on rivals Glentoran in front of the Sky cameras this evening, McClean would relish being a part of it if called upon as it’s a fixture he’s always followed with keen interest.

“When I was younger, I was taken to many Irish league matches up and down the country, including many ‘Big Two’ games so I understand the huge rivalry and what it means to the club and the supporters. Playing for Linfield every game is massive, but before I came back from Scotland I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look to see when this fixture was. In my opinion regardless of position in the league this will always be the ‘Big Two’. The game being on Sky Sports adds to the magnitude of the fixture, both sets of players and supporters will be fired up. I can’t wait for the game and if I get an opportunity to play my part it in winning the 3 points it would be fantastic.”

A warm Windsor welcome to Kyle and everyone connected with Linfield will wish him a very enjoyable and successful loan period ahead at the club as he aims to win his first senior trophy this season.
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