Steve McClaren has claimed that when Mike Williamson was away at Wolves on loan, Newcastle missed his ‘vital’ experience on the training pitch.

The United boss says it was the same when Rob Elliot was out injured at the start of the season.

McClaren states that both Elliot and Mike Williamson have ‘robustness, experience, Character, being a winner’ and that this helps the younger players.

I’m sure that the pair of them are dead canny lads and do their best and all that..but Steve McClaren comes out with some pretty bad patter at times.

Rob Elliot was third choice keeper and on his way out of the club, only having started 13 Premier League matches in his career before this season’s combination of circumstances catapulted him back into first team opportunity.

Whilst with Mike Williamson, robustness and being a winner aren’t really what you would associate with him.

I just hope this is clever speak from Steve McClaren to make clear to Mike Ashley the desperate need for more quality experienced players at the club.

You want to be relying on top top quality players who are automatic first choice to inspire those around them, not fringe players who don’t usually get a game.

Steve McClaren:

“Character is vitally important, the experienced players are vital, whether they’re playing or not.

“The likes of Mike Williamson and Rob Elliot, we like them around because their standards on the training field are very good. That’s what you need and they set the tone and the standard for others to follow.

“When Willo was away and when Rob was injured at the start of the season, we didn’t really have that.

“Now though, they are supporting the likes of Jack Colback, Moussa Sissoko and Fabricio Coloccini, who are probably our seniors or leaders.

“They (Williamson and Elliot) know what this club and the Premier League are about.

“ It is a tough league but it is not a complicated league. You just need certain ingredients: robustness, experience, character, being a winner.

“They (Mike Williamson and Rob Elliot) have that and you hope that will spread to the young players coming through.”

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