Steve McClaren says that he accepts that it looks like the Newcastle players aren’t trying but that this isn’t the case and that it is equally difficult for both young new signings and ‘an old one’ to try and climb out of this negative nosedive.
Asked if it is unthinkable for a club of Newcastle’s size to be relegated, the United Head Coach says that it almost happened last season but that he isn’t even thinking about it this season.
When asked about fans having lost patience, McClaren says that this is the same at any club when you lose so often but his message to the supporters is to ‘never ever underestimate the influence they have got’…if only!
He also claims that young players will be better for the experience of this struggle they are going through with Newcastle United.
However, he does accept that at this moment in time the club have gone ‘three steps forward and then five or six back’.
‘A drop down to the Championship for a club the size of Newcastle is surely unthinkable?’
“Well scraped with it last season, not even thinking about it this season.
“We know where we are, we know what position we are in. How many games to go and it isn’t really a situation of saying there is this in two or three weeks, or come March or April we need this many points, it’s about Sunday – the next game.”
‘Are the players lacking character?’
No. People question it and it appears that way but these are young players and this is what they are going through. This is the experience they have to go through to come through it, that bit of adversity at a big club.
“We felt we had done that but all of a sudden three steps forward and five or six back.”
‘A section of Newcastle fans are losing patience, how does that make you feel?’
“It is the same with every football club wherever you go, in situations where you don’t win football matches. So it’s no different, the only way to deal with that is to perform and win.”
‘What would your message be to them (the fans)?’
“Never ever underestimate the influence they have got, the fans.
“I was talking to one of the players and we said, ‘well, four or five games we’ve won in one year’ – that doesn’t bode very much belief and confidence.
“We are asking everybody to be patient and I know we are testing that, but this is our club. This is a big club, huge club, and when it turns around, and we play well – get confidence, it’s a good team.”
‘Some former Newcastle players have claimed that players don’t have effort or desire and don’t care, do they?’
“Yeah, when you cross that white line and play in front of 50,000 people, believe you me you have got to try and that is the thing.When you are lacking in confidence, lacking in belief, not getting results…and you are a little bit of a young player in a new situation, or an old one who is always there…very difficult to turn that around….
“And it looks like from the outside that they are not trying, they’re not working. It looks like they are not trying but they are. We have to transfer the confidence and belief from training onto matchday.”