Steve McClaren felt his players were ‘magnificent’ against Arsenal.
The Newcastle Head Coach believing that they were the victims of a ‘harsh red card’ for Aleksandar Mitrovic that changed the game.
Moussa Sissoko was booked for a nothing foul after only three minutes and McClaren felt that the referee had made things difficult for himself from that point, after setting the bar so low when it came to challenges in the game.
He felt that because Newcastle’s players were ‘young and innocent’ and always tried to stay on their feet, it handicapped the home team.
The Newcastle players and Head Coach could only watch on as the Arsenal players rolled around theatrically, after the 90 minutes only three outfield players from the starting 11 had failed to pick up a card.
With two first half sending offs already (Janmaat at Swansea), Steve McClaren says he can’t wait to get ’11 players on the field and a decent game’.
Steve McClaren talking after the final whistle:
“All we could do is show spirit and fight, they (players) were magnificent. It was a harsh red card, more clumsy and he stood on his foot – I just felt early on that there were too many yellows, it was a rod for the referee’s back.”
“We saw Moussa Sissoko’s (after three minutes) which got a yellow card and it was similar.”
Young and innocent:
“There were fouls, we’re not disputing that. Our boys are young and innocent, they stay on their feet, don’t fall down easy, they stay up and play.
“We felt we were a victim to that and especially the red card, it is just a clumsy stamp on the foot and very harsh for a straight red.”
We have to learn:
“What a fantastic crowd though, when we get 11 players on the field and a decent game, this crowd is going to roar us on.
“If we keep this spirit…after four games we have been down to 10 men in two of them. It was harsh (Mitrovic red card), definitely, but we have to learn from that.”
Whilst some of the bookings were soft, there was a consensus amongst the various pundits that the Mitrovic red card was deserved.
Even Alan Shearer said after the game that he thought it was a red card at the time, then when he saw the TV replays they didn’t change his mind.
We roll on and in 16 days time Newcastle face West Ham at Upton Park without Aleksandar Mitrovic.