West Brom winger backed to become success by assistant manager

The Baggies' number two Dave Kemp insists James McClean will show his true quality at the Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion winger James McClean has the right attitude and quality to succeed at the club despite a slow start to life in Birmingham, the club's assistant manager Dave Kemp has told the Birmingham Mail.

The 26-year-old joined the Baggies in the summer from Wigan Athletic but incited controversy before he had even kicked a ball for the club by turning his back on the English flag as the national anthem was sung before a game in the team's pre-season tout of the USA.

That resulted in a warning from manager Tony Pulis and the Irishman being booed by his own fans before being substituted at half-time during his competitive debut for the club the following month, but he has since recovered to make 33 appearances in all competitions this season.

After being banned for three matches following a red card against Bournemouth in December, McClean has struggled to regain a starting spot, but Pulis' right-hand man Kemp believes that the player has all the attributes to succeed at the Hawthorns.

Kemp told the Birmingham Mail: "He’s the type of character who will do well here because he doesn’t sit and sulk. He doesn’t say ‘I should be in the team’, he rolls his sleeves up and tries to earn his place that way.

"When he comes off the bench, as he has, he puts in an excellent shift. He’s still had a role to play even though he hasn’t started. He’s come off the bench and been a factor.

"But he wants to play every minute and that’s the type of player we want. He’s got a fantastic work ethic, he works very hard and wants to do everything he can to get back in the team."

McClean was signed by Pulis in the summer after hitting 10 goals in 85 matches across two seasons for Wigan Athletic in the Championship before their relegation to League One.

He has previous Premier League experience after playing for two years with Sunderland prior to his move to the DW Stadium, and has netted twice so far in his debut campaign in the West Midlands.

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