Steve McClaren has come to the defence of goalkeeper Rob Elliot after his part in the incident that decided Sunday’s derby match.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline, Elliot didn’t make a save in the whole match and his lack of mobility and failure to take decisive action, has led to many fans criticising the keeper.

However, when the Newcastle Head Coach was asked if Rob Elliot could and should have done more in that red card incident, he said:

“No, I think it was a normal one. It was going through to the goalkeeper, Coloccini knew that.

“He just gently eased the opponent (Steven Fletcher) away, I see a lot of them around the pitch never given.”

As for the Rob Elliot himself, this is how he saw the incident:

“The ball got played through and I was sort of waiting for the ball to get past Colo and Fletcher…”

Whilst Steve McClaren is right when he says plenty of shoulder to shoulder challenges happen in the course of normal play, doing it in the circumstances (in the box) that Coloccini did, was hardly the most clever of moves.

McClaren no doubt feels he has to be seen to be publicly sticking up for his players and openly criticising individuals as Pardew and Carver did, serves absolutely no purpose…especially when you are relying on them next weekend!

Why on earth Newcastle gave Rob Elliot a secret long-term contract last season is something all of us would love to know, especially with Kark Darlow signing and Freddie Woodman progressing quickly.