After watching his team eventually overcome Lillestrom 2-1, Steve McClaren wasn’t too happy with the weather or the pitch.
Describing the pitch as ‘lively’, the Newcastle boss said that due to a combination of the state of that pitch and it ‘blowing a gale’, he told his team to play more direct in the second half.
Steve McClaren’s comments follow those of Jonjo Shelvey earlier in the week, when the midfielder said that open nature of the training pitches and the fact it was windy, meant the players struggled to string two passes together.
Some people would suggest that maybe they’d have been better off training on the beach at Whitley Bay and playing one of the local non-league sides instead….
In 10 days time at Stoke City we will find out the benefits, or otherwise, of this training camp but certainly the team selection means that it isn’t as though it was a chance to try out the likely team in a match together before that game at the Britannia Stadium.
The probability is that this training camp won’t make a difference one way or another when Newcastle are back in Premier League action but when a team have done as poorly as Newcastle have this season, then all of these issues become far bigger than they really should.
Steve McClaren talking to the club’s official tv channel:
“The weather is not ideal (at La Manga), it is blowing a gale – the pitch was lively, so difficult conditions.
“But good to get people games who haven’t been playing; likes of Jamaal (Lascelles) and Stevie Taylor. Liam (Gibson) coming in as a young lad at left-back did very well and obviously Henri (Saivet) – getting Gouff on, good to see Manu (Riviere), giving Seydou (Doumbia) 90 minutes.
“So I think it was a good workout in terms of get some into those who have already played, but the others (who haven’t played much) got some minutes as well – did very well.
“It was a great start (Wijnaldum scoring after three minutes) and just what we wanted and then went a little sloppy after that – poor goal to concede (1-1 after eight minutes).
“But came back well…it’s blowing a gale here so we just said the second half – let’s play a little more direct, play to the conditions and Rolando popped up with a very good goal.
“They have had three days working very hard and finished with a game, conditions not the best today but they got minutes.”