On Saturday afternoon just before the Bournemouth match, an official statement ‘from’ the Newcastle Players’ backing Steve McClaren has been released.

Quite what the point of it is, is open to question?

If this latest embarrassing PR stunt by the club is supposed to get us all rallying around Steve McClaren and his players as one ‘United’ force…it just leaves you shaking your head.

This shambles of a club we support, against all odds, is a basket case under Mike Ashley.

It was bad before but he has taken it to new lows – instead of dreaming up these stunts, they all need to just concentrate on trying to run a football club in a dignified manner and try to win a few games of football.

Is that too much to ask?

The official statement ‘from’ the Newcastle Players – Saturday 5 March

“Newcastle United players would like to make clear that reports in some areas of the media suggesting we are surprised that our head coach has not been dismissed are untrue.

“As a group we aware of the situation we are in and it is our responsibility to change that.

“The coach and his staff prepare us well for each game, but once on the pitch it is not they who can stop the goals we concede or the chances we don’t take, that responsibility is ours the players.

“On the occasions we have given poor performances this season the coach has in the privacy of the dressing room rightly demonstrated his disappointment in us.

“In his press conferences, though, we have seen that he defends his group, continues to show faith in us and shares the responsibility with us. For this he has the full respect of the players.

“The players are also aware from articles in yesterday’s newspapers that a person or persons connected with the club are giving information to the press of a negative nature.

“As players we are very disappointed by this. It’s a betrayal of trust for the coach, us and the club.

“As a group we know we have it within us to keep this club in the Premier League.

“We now must fight every game at a time to earn our place in the Premier League for next season.”