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Steven McClaren defends Newcastle players against accusation

5 years ago

Steve McClaren was forced to come out and defend his players after the final whistle at the Liberty Stadium.

Whilst Newcastle fans were more than unhappy at what they’d watched, it was opposing manager Garry Monk who had got to the United Head Coach.

The Swansea boss accusing Newcastle of trying to kick winger Jefferson Montero off the pitch.

Garry Monk:

“I thought Jeff (Montero) was a little more quiet today but you could see their tactic was basically to try and kick him.

“However, all credit to the referee as he spotted that early and quite rightly, the player was sent off in the end. He (Montero) needs to be protected.”

However, Steve McClaren answered back:

“I don’t think we are capable of doing that and I don’t think the game represents that now. Our team is a football team, we’re not kickers and so I’d dispute that.

“I thought the second card was harsh as it was a long way from goal, Daryl (Janmaat) had made his presence known, which he needed to do, but it was a little tug.

“I thought the referee could have been lenient, I could complain but it would be a limp one – from then on it is very difficult.”

The truth is somewhere in between in my opinion.

Whatever Newcastle are, they are not a team of kickers. However, just as at Leicester in the final weeks of last season, frustration built up and up.

At the King Power Stadium Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat ended up getting red cards as they reacted petulantly to being dominated by the opposition.

Against Swansea it was the same story, with the home team making Newcastle look a very poor side as they dominated possession, attacking at will down both flanks and straight through the heart of United’s defence – the opening goal a prime example of that.

However, it was Montero on the left who was showing dazzling skills and taking the proverbial out of Daryl Janmaat.

He might eventually have walked for a pull on the winger’s shirt but in the previous 41 minutes he’d had a number of goes at the Ecuador international, before being yellow carded the first time.

After that the Dutch defender came close to going through Montero again but just resisted the temptation and had to let him go by, Janmaat’s frustration increasing by the minute with his own inability to handle the player as well as the inadequacies of his own teammates.

His eventual sending off came from Janmaat gifting possession and whilst McClaren is correct in saying it wasn’t in a threatening part of the pitch, it is one of those where he should be having a word with his own player for such stupidity when the right-back must have known he was on the brink.

The whole episode was compounded when United’s lack of a squad meant there was right-back replacement, with Anita having to immediately filled in. Straight away Montero skinned Anita who then grabbed Montero’s shirt fleetingly before letting go, the desperately covering Sissoko then left clutching his thigh as he tried to retrieve the situation.

Second-half saw Chancel Mbemba moved across as an emergency right-back, but by then Swansea were happy to pass around Newcastle, and then once they were gifted the second goal via Coloccini’s shocking defending (watch it HERE), they were really on cruise control for the remaining 35 minutes of the match.

There are many things Steve McClaren needs to worry about and hopefully Daryl Janmaat has learnt his lesson this time, as the only reliable defender (hopefully Mbemba will make that two…) United have got, being capable of picking up two red cards in the space of four matches isn’t what the Head Coach needs to add to his problems.

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