Under-fire McClaren pleads for patience at crisis-hit Newcastle

Beleaguered Newcastle manager Steve McClaren pleaded for more time to turn around his club’s woeful run after a 2-1 home defeat against Watford left them languishing in the Premier League relegation zone.

McClaren’s team are second bottom, with only local rivals Sunderland keeping them off the foot of the table, after Watford’s Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo shattered the fragile hosts at St James’ Park on Saturday.

The Magpies are without a win in their six matches this season and have just two points.

Daryl Janmaat’s second half goal was Newcastle’s first in the league in 464 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them extending a miserable record of just one win in 17 outings dating back to last season.

McClaren’s players were jeered off the pitch by furious Newcastle fans at full-time, but the former England coach insisted he could still enjoy success on Tyneside given time.

“I can understand the fans’ reaction. We are just turning things around and I think the majority understand that,” said McClaren, who was hired from Derby to replace interim manager John Carver in the close-season.

“Like we have said to the boys in the dressing room, it’s not a crisis, it’s not a time to panic — it’s too early, and we’d never do that anyway.

“No matter where you are at what stage, we’d never do that, we have too much experience to know that.”

McClaren knows the criticism of Newcastle from fans and pundits will only grow louder this week, but he is confident they will turn things around as long as the dressing room doesn’t become divided with feuding players.

“We have got to stick together. We are going to get a lot of criticism and that can be flying from not just media, but also fans, and in that dressing room we have got to stay tight, we have got to stay calm,” McClaren said.

“I am under no illusions, this is a hard job — everybody knew that and you know it. You want proof, we’ve got proof.

“But we have got the experience in the backroom staff to deal with this. We are lucky that it’s early — it’s only two and a half months that we’ve been working with each other and there’s a long way to go and a lot of things to do.”

Photo Credits : AFP