Steve McClaren says that Steven Taylor and Cheick Tiote ‘epitomise’ what Newcastle United are all about.
The United boss chose to play Cheick Tiote ahead of new signing Henri Saivet, whilst Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini were the only two available centre-backs.
Along with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Rolando Aarons coming in, it was a much changed line-up to Wednesday and also a very welcome much different approach to the game, compared to what we endured at Everton.
With Steven Taylor out of contract in June and Cheick Tiote seeing a move to China break down in recent days (though there are claims this could be still resurrected with the transfer window in China still open), it remains to be seen what the longer term future holds for the two players at the club.
Leaving aside whatever weaknesses the pair possess, what both players give is 100% effort and that was more than enough to help Newcastle overcome a quite shockingly poor West Brom.
You can only beat what is in front of you though and Newcastle deserved far more than the one goal margin, hopefully they are keeping a few goals for the trips to Chelsea and Stoke…
Another player Steve McClaren was happy to wax lyrical about was Aleksandar Mitrovic, the player himself having revealed he (well, his girlfriend…) is expecting a ‘Little Mitro’ next month and the Head Coach revealing that the striker comes in and does extra training regularly because ‘he wants it so bad’.
Steve McClaren talking to the club’s official website:
“That last 10 minutes was an eternity and it should have all been wrapped up.
“You wonder after Wednesday…the days that we have had and the words that have been said – you wonder what reaction we will get and it was perfect.
“With Tiote and Stevie Taylor, I think they came in and epitomise what Newcastle is all about and what we want. The other players took their lead from that and there was just a reaction, they were so disappointed after Wednesday. That (Everton) wasn’t us in terms of performance.”
‘A lot of injuries and suspensions, how close did you come to putting in the likes of Liam Gibson?’
“Very close, very close and when I saw Janmaat go down I thought ‘We haven’t got many defenders here’, I didn’t want to throw a kid on in this game, this atmosphere.
“I thought Rolando Aarons was fantastic, difficult job to come in and play left-back and he did it very well. Once he gets fit, stays fit, we’ve got a good young player there.”
‘Cheick Tiote – hasn’t scored in five years and has that goal taken off him?’
“He probably hasn’t scored in training for five years neither! So to score like that and to be chalked off.., for what I don’t know, I am disappointed for him.”
‘If ever a player needed a goal – Aleksandar Mitrovoc?’
“Yes, so pleased for him.
“The lad has never shied away from the work, leading the line, getting in the box, missing chances, he has never shied away.
“He does extra in training, he wants it so bad and like we said, he is a young player, 21, adapting..but he has got a bright future.
“Calmness in front of goal, that is what he had today.”