Michael O'Neill: Stoke City manager 'has been brilliant with me' - James McClean

James McClean and Michael O'Neill
Michael O'Neill joined Stoke City after eight years as Northern Ireland manager

James McClean has praised Michael O'Neill's man-management skills after an upturn in form for Stoke City.

A shift from a left back to a left winger by O'Neill has resulted in McClean contributing four assists and two goals in 11 matches.

"He's been brilliant with me and hopefully I'm repaying that faith he's shown in me with my performances," McClean told the Potters' website.

"Hopefully I can give more of that between now and the end of the season."

Since O'Neill's arrival at the bet365 stadium in November, Stoke have won five of their 12 games under his tenure and are one point above the relegation zone in the Championship.

"When you're playing with confidence then you're a better player and you feel like you can do a lot more, so as a man manager he's been brilliant," added McClean on O'Neill's impact.

"The main thing for any footballer is that you want to be enjoying your football. I'm not saying I wasn't enjoying my football beforehand but when you're losing games it isn't enjoyable.

"Winning games breeds confidence, and with more wins that's going to come, but I am enjoying my football and it's credit to the manager for that."

While Republic of Ireland international McClean "enjoyed the challenge" of his defensive role, he says he has been given more licence to attack since the positional switch.

"As an attacking player it's always nice to score and set up goals," he added.

"I played earlier in the season at left back but I didn't complain and I didn't make any excuses.

"I've been playing better, but I know myself that I can play even better again, so that's to come and hopefully I can chip in with a few more goals this season and I back myself to do that."