Steve McClaren says that after the final whistle against Arsenal, he went into the dressing room and told the players that he hadn’t expected much anyway from the opening four Premier League matches.

The Newcastle Head Coach says that what he was hoping for was ‘performance’, for future  opposing teams to look ahead and know they are going to get ‘a hard game’ against Newcastle United.

With two points out of twelve and only Sunderland keeping Newcastle off the bottom of the table, one of Steve McClaren’s expectations came true.

As for the putting a marker down for clubs Newcastle will play in the upcoming matches, McClaren believes that this was achieved in the four games so far.

I can understand where Steve McClaren is coming from, up to a point.

However, I look at the next four matches and if he publicly acknowledging he expected so little from the first four games, what would the Head Coach say about a run that includes games against Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham away and only Watford at home where Newcastle will be favourites to take the points?

Yes Newcastle haven’t had the easiest of starts and that has been exasperated by the stupidity and indiscipline of the players but I can see very few ‘easy’ matches on the horizon.

All three promoted teams are having a right go and we have already seen Norwich stuff the mackems away from home, Bournemouth win at West Ham, whilst Watford have drawn three of their four matches against the likes of Southampton and Everton.

With Crystal Palace winning at Chelsea and West Ham stuffing Liverpool at Anfield, Newcastle’s players have to pick their game up, whoever they are playing.

Yes the sending offs have been a hinderance but both Swansea and Arsenal were in total control of both games before the red cards and the fact remains that in these last three Premier League matches, Newcastle have had only two shots on target – with none at all against Manchester United and Arsenal.

Steve McClaren

“You can’t win with 10 men, you can only show spirit and fight and they showed that in abundance. I didn’t think it was a seven yellows and one red card game, I just felt that at times the referee lost a little bit control.

“It (Mitrovic challenge) is a yellow card, he’s landed on his foot. How he (Coquelin) is still walking…the reaction from the foul.”

Great work from the crowd:

“I think everybody was surprised from the (other players’) reaction to the foul, when the red card came out.

“We were in it until the end, some great saves, some great defending and great work from the crowd.”

Not a lot expected:

“I’ve just said to them in there (dressing room), four very difficult games, not a lot expected, (we are) looking at performance, we’re looking at people needing to say ‘We’re playing Newcastle…this is going to be a hard game’ and that is what we have done for the four games.”