Steve McClaren has made clear his unhappiness with the pre season schedule overall and this final stretch of preparations is specifically looking a mess.
The Newcastle Head Coach has bemoaned the fact that he was saddled with a travel-loaded trip to America, with 10 hour flights either way as well as a good number of internal ones in the States.
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McClaren saying that he far prefers staying in Europe for ideal pre season arrangements.
When interviewed in advance of the Sheffield United match, Steve McClaren made clear his exasperation at the daft idea of somebody arranging yet another friendly so soon after the players landed back from America (Plus of course the fact that the match against Portland’s second team was played on a dangerous artificial pitch where McClaren said he couldn’t risk playing at least six of his players in the team – leading to the farce that saw Ferguson at centre-half and Aarons at left-back).
I wonder who he had to thank for that…
Chris Morgan talking when the Sheffield United friendly/testimonial was originally announced:
“It promises to be a brilliant fixture and one that should benefit both clubs in pre-season preparations, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the massive help of JC (John Carver) and Lee (Charnley).
“Despite having more important things on their minds in recent weeks, they have stuck to their word about going ahead with the fixture if Newcastle preserved their top-flight status.”
After Sunday’s match, McClaren still wasn’t a happy man and said he was just grateful that all of his players had managed to get through the game without injury, especially with the fatigue they experienced during the second-half due to the lack of time since they arrived back from the States – far more injuries happening when players are tired.
Despite this (the tiredness/risk of injuries), it was very noticeable that Steve McClaren started that match against the Blades with what clearly looked to be his first team, or at least his strongest team from those available. Basically, the new Head Coach is desperate to get the chance to see what is likely to be his team that will play against Southampton, playing together in these friendlies.
So tonight United play at York only three days after Sheffield United and the Chronicle are reporting that Steve McClaren will play a lot of fringe players such as Bigirimana, Satka, Ferguson and others, clearly not feeling able to put his ‘first team’ out again in quick succession.
What this basically amounts to, is that Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach will be the first and only time that the new United boss will be able to put his first team out in the right circumstances.
The game forced into the schedule by Carver/Charnley against Sheffield United on Sunday looking a big mistake.
For my money, I bet Steve McClaren would have far preferred an extra day or two recuperation from the trip to America (Wijnaldum said he was still waking in the middle of the night and not getting back to sleep due to jetlag every night, including the night before Sheffield United) and instead of Sunday and Wednesday, would have liked to play his first team on Tuesday night (last night) and then again on Saturday – with no doubt the odd adjustment.
With three friendlies in a time span of only six days, I think we will have a ‘Newcastle 11’ tonight and in terms of preparation for Southampton in 11 days times, the United Head Coach will be little the wiser.