In February, I dedicated a column to my appreciation of Kenny McLean.

In the opening paragraph, I said in no uncertain terms that it would likely not be the last time I used this page to sing the praises of City's long-serving mayoral midfield maestro.

Well, I'd hate not to be a man of my word!

The opening month of the season, overall, has been exactly what the doctor ordered.

I'm actually struggling to think of a campaign that has started quite so well as this season, which save for a last-minute equaliser at a very game Southampton side would have been flawless. 

While it is true enough to say that a year ago on this date City were perched in the exact same position in the league (second) we all know how much the league matters at such an early stage in the season.

The biggest difference this term has been that performances are matching results, which never happened under Dean Smith.

At no real point during the nine-game unbeaten early on in the season did we actually look convincing.

I remember at the time thinking something along the lines of "well if we're winning while we're not playing well, what will happen when things start to click?" They never did.

However, what I've seen so far this campaign has been so, so encouraging.

We now look motivated, organised and driven - while also looking creative and scoring for fun.

Quite rightly, the bombastic Jonny Rowe is earning lots of praise as is the ever-impressive Gabriel Sara.

But as it always seems to, the impact of Kenny McLean is flying a little bit under the radar.

In the absence of countryman Grant Hanley, the Scot has been wearing the captain's armband and it looks to me like that has lit even more fire underneath him.

So far this season, Kenny has been phenomenal and seems to have taken his game to another level.

I've made no secret of how much of a fan of McLean I am, having previously described him as City's most underrated player.

He always seems to be one of the first players fans want to criticise on social media, which is something I've never understood.

During this campaign he has looked every bit the leader that the captain's armband demands of a player.

Following the 4-0 romp over Huddersfield, boss David Wagner described him as "top drawer" and I could not agree more.

His work rate has been second to none, constantly popping up where he is needed, organising his teammates and helping turn defence into attack.

His midfield partnership with Gabby Sara has been a joy to watch and is reminiscent of another successful tandem of years gone by.

City fans of a certain vintage will recall how well Phil Mulryne and Gary Holt linked up together - Mulryne pulling the strings creatively with Three Lungs putting in the dirty work.

Kenny's desire, work rate and graft has afforded Sara the kind of freedom he needs to show his creative flair, which often goes too unnoticed.

I have been so impressed with Captain Kenny that even if Hanley makes a full recovery and comes back into the team, it would feel wrong to give him back the armband.

I was delighted when McLean put pen to paper on a new contract last season when many thought he may decide to head back north of the border.

Currently, City's longest-serving player, the mayor has continuously proven his worth - and one thing is for sure, it is way more than the measly £4m Leeds supposedly tried to tempt him away with.

Sarge's injury a massive blow

Eastern Daily Press: Josh Sargent is set to be sidelined for months after injury his ankle at Huddersfield

Earlier in this piece I alluded to the fact that the start of the season has been "almost" perfect.

Aside from dropping two points from a winning position at St Mary's, Josh Sargent's injury is the other thing standing in the way of perfection.

I really felt that this season could be something of a watershed moment for the American.

He was finally going to be played in the role he wants and was given the shirt number to match it.

For the first few games he's looked truly buoyant, finding the target three times and his partnership with Ashley Barnes really looked to be blossoming.

The way his injury occurred said everything you need to know about Josh Sargent - that it happened as a result of him putting his body on the line for the cause and scoring in the process.

It's a devastating blow that he now faces months, rather than weeks on the sidelines as a result of this commitment.

He may still have a big role to play if he manages to get back fit and fighting, but it's so gutting for him.

Here's hoping he has as speedy a recovery as he can.