Steve McClaren looked astonished when put in the picture about what used to happen under Alan Pardew when it came to pre-season training at Newcastle United.

The new United Head Coach was asked whether he thought it was important that as many players as possible returned for training as soon as possible and replied that it was vital that they started working together as soon as possible.

McClaren looking bemused when the interviewer revealed that under Alan Pardew, players returned for pre-season in ‘dribs and drabs’, a group of players at a time over a longer period.

In the interview with the club’s official website, the most amusing interchange happened when the interviewer queried why on the first day of training the players were playing with a ball, revealing that under Alan Pardew it was far longer into pre season before that happened.

Steve McClaren replying with the one-liner…’Well you play football with a ball‘!!!

The new Head Coach is definitely starting to grow on me….

Hopefully we will see a much more professional approach to first team training under Steve McClaren than what appeared to be the case under Alan Pardew and John Carver. Maybe even a bit of practice on set-pieces and trying to attack the opposition?

steve mcclaren

Whilst McClaren came across well in the to interview to camera, the fact it was a club production means that of course none of the questions fans want answering, were asked.

Such as why no assistant manager or first team coach has been appointed and how concerned he was at no players signed as yet.

Though in answer to another question, Steve McClaren did inadvertently show how urgent/desperate the situation is, when he mentioned how short this year’s pre-season is and the fact that they only have nine more days of work before the squad head off to America.

The clock is ticking with only five weeks until the season kicks off and Newcastle and McClaren desperate for quality players to be added to the team/squad:

Interviewer – ‘In years gone by the players tended to come back in dribs and drabs, a few groups, today (Wednesday) they were pretty much all back together – why do you think that was important?’

Steve McClaren:

“It is vitally important that we got the majority here, Monday we have the rest of the internationals (back) who have been playing up until mid-June.

“I can’t wait until we have everybody working together. Talking is all well and good but this is why it is important to get them out there and start the work.”

Interviewer – ‘You got the ball out very early for this stage of the (pre) season, compared to what we have seen the past here?’

Steve McClaren:

“Well you play football with a ball!

“It’s vital that we do that and the players enjoy that, I do also.”

9 days work then America:

“It’s a shorter pre season, we have 10 (now 9) days hard work before we go to America.

“So we want to get some structure and some ball work into the players and try to incorporate fitness work and ball work.”