Martin O'Neill is unlikely to persist with using winger James McClean in a more central role, the Sunderland manager said.
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Predominantly a left winger, the 23-year-old has been moved inside during the second period of Sunderland's recent fixtures against Tottenham and Liverpool, which they lost 2-1 and 3-0 respectively.
Despite signing defensive midfielder Alfred N'Diaye this week, O'Neill still believes that exposing McClean to new positions can only benefit the youngster as he continues his development.
"I thought he would give us a bit of physical strength in there, which we lack against other teams in the Premier League," he told the Sunderland Echo. "But as to whether it is a long-term thing, I am not really sure about that. James is still learning his own position out wide and it is a different issue going in there (to central midfield).
"In terms of his overall game, it will do him no harm at all. Even though it is only 15 yards infield, you get a very different picture - you see things another way. When you are playing out wide, they say the white line is your friend - nobody is going to come from behind the line to tackle you.
"John Robertson (O'Neill's former Nottingham Forest team-mate and long-term assistant) used to say that that was what he loved about playing there. The line was there for him and you know where you are. When you are infield, there are players coming in from either side of you, from behind you and from in front of you. The second you miscontrol it, people are on top of you and suddenly you've lost the ball."
Meanwhile the Black Cats are hoping to finalise the international clearance for new signing N'Diaye in time for the player to make his Sunderland debut on Saturday against West Ham.
The 22-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the club this week, with his new club now racing to file and process the required paperwork from the Turkish FA.
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