Steve McClaren has been reflecting on the defeat at Selhurst Park and he reckons one of the big reasons for the result, was because Newcastle couldn’t handle Connor Wickham all game.

I must admit that beforehand I was apprehensive about a few things, especially the Newcastle team(!), but Connor Wickham wasn’t one of them.

In the event, United made him look like a half decent player, giving Wickham all the time and space he needed to do his ‘magic’…

Steve McClaren was speaking to the club’s official tv channel and I had to laugh at one of the classic questions the club interviewer asked the Head Coach.

McClaren was asked whether it might have been a different result if Newcastle had held on for more than 4 (FOUR) minutes after Cisse scored, well maybe if they had held on for 74….

Talking about the fragility of the side, Steve McClaren says that his team are currently like a boxer who keeps going down when he takes the first punch, then doesn’t get back up.

Accepting that Newcastle are in a relegation battle, McClaren says that Newcastle have to win the mini-league of clubs who are already appearing to make up the short list of relegation contenders.

Steve McClaren talking to the club’s official tv channel:

“We wanted a reaction and I think we got one in the first 15 minutes. Started well, got the goal and then individual errors…couldn’t cope with Connor Wickham all game.

“We end up 3-1 down and a mountain to climb and we didn’t look like climbing it – the fourth goal killed us.”

‘Do you think it could have been a different result had we held on to the lead for more than four minutes?’

“Absolutely, it was always ifs, buts and maybes but we have to cope with disappointments better than what we are doing.

“Mistakes are mistakes, goals are goals, it doesn’t matter, get back to what you are doing and we did that at the start…very difficult against a very good side.”

‘Not managing to take the great training into matches?’

“I think you have seen it kind of does in the beginning, then the first punch you get you are not going to get up and that is what it seems like. Especially the first one, then second one, third one and fourth goal just after half-time…the game is really over, you might as well stop the game then.

“There is going to be a league down there (fighting relegation) and we have to make sure we win that.”