After a bizarre game of two halves at Manchester City and rock bottom of the table, Steve McClaren has admitted that Newcastle ‘are in real difficulty now’.

The United boss says that if the players don’t break out of the ‘losing mentality’ that Alan Shearer has accused them of having, then it is guaranteed to be a relegation fight all season.

However, McClaren claims that this (losing mentality) is simply an ongoing problem that he has inherited, saying it has been going on for the last year and a half.

Many fans would say that you can go back far longer to the summer of 2012 as the starting point, Newcastle only just avoided relegation that season and so arguably the losing mentality set in over three years ago.

The Head Coach says they always knew it would take time to sort the problems out, but I don’t think any supporters anticipated that this would equal an early starting point being bottom of the table, with only three points out of 24 at this stage.

With pretty much all of the players still remaining who have been part of this longer term losing mentality, the question is whether it is possible for Steve McClaren, or anybody else to change these bad habits?

The signs aren’t great, especially in a defence which has consistently been one of the worst in the division season after season, only QPR conceding more last season.

Steve McClaren:

“In the last 18 months that (a losing mentality) has been the problem at this football club and we are here to turn that around – we are going to do whatever it takes.

“It is a difficult job but we are determined to do it, but this isn’t happening just now, it has been happening for 12…18 months.

“They are going to have to start doing it, otherwise we are in a fight for the rest of the season and that is the reality…we are in real difficulty now.”

Lee Charnley’s the main man:

“I don’t speak to Mike (Ashley), it is Lee Charnley who is in charge and we have talked from day one about this (taking a long time) and in fact, he has probably stressed it more than I have about how much time it will take.

“People have said that this is a job for an experienced person and that is why we are here, we have got an experienced staff who can cope and deal with this. “

Dealing with setbacks:

“Will it be turned around overnight? No.

“It will take time and at t the moment we are just not consistent over 90 minutes and need to deal with setbacks a little better than how we are doing, but it is something that is in the history and we knew it would be hard to turn around.”