Former Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean aims to make 2021 a year to remember by winning a second league title and starring at Euro 2020.
However, first the 29-year-old will focus on Scotland’s bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
Having opened the Group F campaign with draws against Austria and Israel, the Scots host minnows Faroe Islands at Hampden tonight.
It is the Scots last competitive game before the Euro 2020 finals in June.
Whilse targeting a slot in the Euro 2020 squad, domestically McLean is on the verge of a second Championship winner’s medal in three seasons with Norwich City.
McLean netted the opener in Norwich’s 1-1 home draw with Blackburn in the last league game before the international break.
Great move, great finish! Kenny giving us the lead in style ⬇ pic.twitter.com/ya9kGzp54m
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) March 21, 2021
He said: “Hopefully I can finish the season strongly when I get back to Norwich, win the league there and go to the Euros and be successful.
“That’s the plan.
“Obviously at club level, things are going as planned.
“We are looking to get back to the Premier League and we are on course to do that, so, hopefully, we can continue that when we go back.
“However, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself and will only look at what I can influence right now which is the Faroe Islands game.”
McLean won the Championship title with Norwich in 2019 and went on to make 37 appearances in the English top flight the following season, when the Canaries eventually suffered relegation.
However, Norwich top the Championship table and are on course for a quick-fire return.
McLean played a key role in Scotland’s qualification for the Euro finals, netting penalties in the shoot-out defeats of both Israel and Serbia in the play-offs.
He believes Scotland are on the up under boss Steve Clarke.
McLean, who left the Dons for Norwich in 2018, said: “We know we have the squad to qualify for tournaments so it is up to us to produce.
“We want these qualifications for tournaments.
“We’ve done it for the Euros, but that’s put on the back burner.
“We have other business.
“We can’t just sit on that because we’ve done it.
“Of course reaching the Euros made us feel good, but it also makes us want more as we know what it feels like.
“It’s going to bring out more in us and get the best out of us.
“As soon as we go onto the training pitch and see the quality and standards set, the intensity, everyone is pulling in the same direction.”
McLean accepts that with success comes raised expectation.
Following back-to-back draws in the Group F openers, national boss Steve Clarke voiced concerns at the “knee-jerk” criticism of his side.
McLean said: “We understand it because the expectation has been raised and rightly so, because we have shown we can do it.
“We have mentioned the quality we have got and we expect more from ourselves every day.
“So we just need to be consistent with it and that’s the big thing. It’s hard in football, but it’s down to us to do that. It’s tough and not going to be easy.
“It’s not been the ideal start, but we go into every game wanting to win it.
“We haven’t managed to do so in the first couple of games, but we’ll try and take care of this and see where we stand.”
Clarke is the first manager to lead Scotland to a major tournament since Craig Brown bossed at the 1998 World Cup.
McLean is confident the Scots will continue to improve under the former Kilmarnock boss.
He said: “We are competitive, hard to beat and a very good team.
“We can compete with those teams that are ranked above us, definitely, and we can get better.
‘I’ve no doubt we will keep progressing under the manager as we have done over the past couple of years.
“You can see we are getting better.
“This last year has been a bit stop-start with lots going on and we’ve not had as much time under the manager, but the longer we get under him the better we will get.”
McLean was introduced as a substitute in the 74th minute in Israel and also came off the bench against Austria.
Although frustrated, the midfielder will not “batter the manager’s door” asking for a start.
He said: “Of course I am disappointed being on the bench, but when you look at the quality that is playing the games, I’m not going to go and batter the manager’s door and ask why I’m not playing.
“That wouldn’t make sense.
“I just need to keep working hard.
“I’m in a good place right now with my club.
“Obviously, the manager has brought me here, so has that faith and belief in me as there are plenty of others who could be here.
“So when I come away, I work as hard as I can and, when the opportunities come, I have to take them as I know the quality that is there.”