O'Neill tips McClean to shine
Black Cats winger expected to improve upon stunning debut season
Last Updated: August 3, 2012 2:39pm
James McClean: Sunderland winger has been tipped to keep improving by manager Martin O'Neill
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is convinced winger James McClean will continue his rapid development with the club this season.
McClean was brought to the Stadium of Light by former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce from Derry City last August, and made his debut under O'Neill in December.
The 23-year-old has quickly won over the Black Cats supporters with performances that also led to his inclusion in the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 squad.
O'Neill said: "It is a big season for him. There is obviously always talk about second season syndrome, that type of stuff, but I have a good belief that I don't think it will affect him.
"He has come back, he's done exceptionally well in training here. He looks every bit as strong as he was before and he looks every bit as determined.
"I don't think those sort of things will bother him."
McClean only played for 14 minutes as a substitute against Spain at Euro 2012, but O'Neill believes he will learn from the experience.
O'Neill added: "I am sure it is a great experience for him. I think he was a bit disappointed that he didn't get on to the field, that's natural, but I think it will be great for him to have been involved.
"If you had spoken to him at the end of November last year and to talk about he might be disappointed at not playing in the European Championship, he would never have believed it, so he has to take all those things into consideration.
"He knows he will get an opportunity there to play for his country and really, the rest will be up to him. But he is flying at the moment."