Schalke right-back Jonjoe Kenny has praised the belief coach David Wagner has shown in him as the Everton loanee scored his first Bundesliga goal in the 3-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin.
“People know me for the defending, and that’s my main point as a right-back, but the coach has told me how to get forward,” the 22-year-old explained after the Matchday 3 victory.
“He wants me to get higher and he’s always got belief in me. So when someone has a lot of belief in you, you feel more relaxed and want to show what you can do.”
On loan for a year from English Premier League outfit Everton, Kenny has played every minute of Schalke’s Bundesliga campaign so far and found the back of the net with his first attempt on goal in the league. It was also the first by a player in Royal Blue this term, with both previous goals attributed to Schalke being scored by opposition players.
Watch: Kenny: “A massive win”
“I’ve just seen the opportunity to strike it,” the England U21 international said of his maiden effort. “I've scored one like this before [for England] and I've done it before.
“We have a lot of confidence but today it was massive to go and get three points, win 3-0 and I thought we played really well. So, it was a good win all round,” the Liverpool native said of his new club’s first Bundesliga win of 2019/20.
Coach Wagner, who had previously faced Kenny in England during his spell as Huddersfield Town manager, described his young charge’s goal as “an unbelievable strike”.
The loanee has proven shrewd business for Schalke with his performances. He is second in the league for crosses from open play (14) and among the top 50 for distance covered this season, averaging over six and a half miles per match. While he has so far gone some way to repaying the faith shown in him by the new club and coach, Kenny knows he is not done after just three games and a goal in the Bundesliga.
“I want to win matches and trophies with Schalke. For a club that attracts crowds of 60,000 people to every home game, they more than deserve that.”
And while many of his teammates will be jetting off around the world during the international break, Kenny will be using the time to work and settle in further to his new surroundings in Gelsenkirchen.
“I’ll be here at Schalke [over the international break] and I'm looking forward to it. You know – keep working and go again for after the international break.”
With four points from three games, the Royal Blues are currently eighth in the early Bundesliga standings. Kenny & Co. are next back in action for the final fixture of Matchday 4 when they head to promoted Paderborn on Sunday, 15 September.