Steve McClaren has declared that he has a ‘relatively very good squad’ at Newcastle and the ‘talent is in there’.

With only six wins in 26 league matches, you must surely wonder when it then becomes the Head Coach’s fault if that ‘very good squad’ with ‘talent’ isn’t showing it on the pitch.

Maybe hinting at what he sees as the real big weakness, Steve McClaren also makes reference to the ‘character and fight’ that is/isn’t there.

The Newcastle boss saying that there will be no relegation worries if the team show those qualities but if they don’t, then it could be a toss of the coin as to survival this season.

Maybe not the most reassuring words to hear the team boss saying, when you are in the relegation zone with less than a third of the season remaining.

Plus surely it must point to his own shortcomings when Steve McClaren says after 11 away defeats in 14 matches, that they have to ‘find a way to win on the road’, as though it was some mystical thing to win a game of football away from home.

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As for grinding out results, the chances of Newcastle doing that are surely less than zero with one of the worst defences in the Premier League.

Hopefully this isn’t a hint that Steve McClaren isn’t going to stick with his shockingly negative tactics at away games, where surely he needs to switch the emphasis to trying to score goals to try and win games, rather than praying the opposition don’t score and hoping to somehow sneak one.

Steve McClaren talking to The Chronicle:

“The group is a relatively very good squad all round, very good – the talent is in there.

“If we show character and fight in the next 12 games we will be OK – if we don’t show character and fight…then we will be touch and go.

 “It is in our hands – we play all the teams in and around us.

 “You can have all the talent in the world but we have to show that character and fight.

“We have to grind out results and find a way to win on the road.”