Friday 30 September 2016

Steve McClaren hails half-time attitude of his players as key in their comeback

Published 14/12/2015 | 04:36

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren believed that his side's enthusiasm during the half time team talk is what won them the game
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren believed that his side's enthusiasm during the half time team talk is what won them the game

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren believes his team's attitude in the dressing room at half-time was behind their last minute comeback against Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

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Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez came off the bench in the second half to secure the Magpies a 2-1 win and move them two points clear of the relegation zone.

McClaren said: "There have been so many times when I have gone in at half-time and the dressing room has been silent.

"I was angry at the goal but the players were fabulous at half-time. It was so vocal, such a determination in the players not to go down the same path as they usually do.

"They took it on board, we haven't won back-to-back games for over a year and to do it was immense.

"You can talk and talk but to see them do it on the pitch is great."

The 54-year-old manager believes his side are starting to get their momentum back after "losing something" during the international break.

"It's taken us two weeks to get that back, We have had glimpses of it and threatened to do it right on occasions but the character was brilliant today.

"We have asked for consistency and the last two weeks they have provided that and it has brought everyone closer together."

Tottenham have fielded the youngest team in the Premier League this season but Mauricio Pochettino does not worry about the quality or age of his players.

"If you want to play for the top the pressure is top but it is not about the age, the first half was one of the best we have played, we are disappointed in the end result."

"In football you can always improve. After the first half we were happy but in the second half it was not the same, it was a bad night for us."

The Argentinian manager believes it was a game of two halves and that "easy mistakes" gave Newcastle the chance to get back into the game.

"We lost concentration and made easy mistakes, we started to give the opponents the belief they can win the game.

"The chances that we conceded were easy for Newcastle, we need to analyse the game.

"Our first half was fantastic and our second half we need to analyse - I want to see the game again."

Press Association

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