The Republic of Ireland winger has yet to hit the heights he scaled last season and Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill feels his fellow Derryman is suffering from a bout of second-season syndrome.
But the winger, who this week took the unusual step of hiring a minder, Derry City goalkeeper Eugene Ferry, to help him finally settle on Wearside, returns to Stoke’s Britannia Stadium today having scored the winner there last season.
McClean is hoping a trip to the Potters will see him getting back on top once more.
“I’ve got good memories of Stoke from last year when we played well there,” he said.
“The conditions weren’t the best — it was a really cold day — but I managed to get a goal and we got the result.
“I haven’t had the best of starts to the season and hopefully on Saturday I can put in a performance and kick on from that.
“It’s been a little bit frustrating. I’ve managed to chip in with a couple of goals in the cup but I want to continue my form from last season in the league and hopefully I can do that.”