Monday 26 September 2016

We'll beat drop - McClaren

Watford 2-1 Newcastle

Vicarage Road

Published 24/01/2016 | 02:30

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren: 'We just said to the players that we won’t have a problem if we keep performing like that every week'. Photo: PA
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren: 'We just said to the players that we won’t have a problem if we keep performing like that every week'. Photo: PA
Odion Ighalo of Watford and Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United compete for the ball. Photo: Getty
Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes celebrates. Photo: PA

Steve McClaren insists Newcastle will avoid relegation despite this defeat. Odion Ighalo ended his four-game drought without a goal, scoring the opener just 44 seconds into the second half. Defender Craig Cathcart then doubled Watford's lead shortly before the hour mark.

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Jamaal Lascelles pulled one back for Newcastle, but the reversal - their third against Watford this season - leaves the Magpies in the relegation zone.

However, McClaren was buoyed by his team's performance and is confident they will retain their top-flight status.

"We just said to the players that we won't have a problem if we keep performing like that every week," said McClaren, whose side are 18th in the league, one point adrift of Swansea.

"Many people questioned the attitude of these players earlier this season and whether they cared. Of course they do and you saw that today and in recent weeks. I thought we did everything today but win the game.

"It is disappointing and frustrating because we are not getting the results we deserve. But it is all about goals and if you don't score you don't win."

Watford ended a four-match losing run in the league, and manager Quique Sánchez Flores was delighted to return to winning ways.

"We came off a bad run, and in terms of the feelings, it is difficult to convince the players it is just a bad run," he said. "I know how it works with the mentality of the players - they are a bit down - so for us today it was very important.

"We are in the top half so we have a lot of reasons to be happy and we have to enjoy it.

"The target is the same - to stay up."

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