Sunday 30 April 2017

Relegation fight will go to wire, warns McClaren

Watford 2-1 Newcastle

Watford's Etienne Capoue (left) and Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko battle for the ball Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Watford's Etienne Capoue (left) and Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko battle for the ball Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Tom Prentki

Steve McClaren has told Newcastle United supporters that their side’s Premier League survival scrap will go right down to the wire.

After losing at Watford on Saturday, Newcastle remain in the bottom three and, despite McClaren being pleased with the performance, he conceded that the road ahead would be bumpy.

“You’ve seen how close games are and until we start getting results it’s going to be uncomfortable,” he said.

Having collected four points from their previous two fixtures against Manchester United and West Ham, McClaren insisted that confidence was high among the squad ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road.

“Last week we took the opportunity against West Ham. This was a great opportunity, so it’s kind of two steps forward, one step back at the moment.”

Those sentiments were echoed by the captain, Fabricio Collocini, who was one of the three central defenders McClaren employed against Quique Sanchez Flores’s side

. The Argentinian feels that the players will need to toughen up for the challenges that lie ahead.

“Maybe we are too nice,” he said. “If you look at all the 50-50s at the moment, maybe we are losing more than the opposite side and that is not good enough.”

Newcastle started brightly at Watford and might have taken the lead through Rolando Aarons before two goals in 12 second-half minutes took the game away from them.

With only six goals scored away from home all season, McClaren admitted that he is pondering his options ahead of the closing of the transfer window and said he is preparing for “10 days of much, much speculation”.

Telegraph.co.uk

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