Thursday 8 December 2016

Steve McClaren not planning to walk away from Newcastle after Bournemouth loss

Published 05/03/2016 | 18:41

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is clinging to his job
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is clinging to his job

Steve McClaren has insisted he will not walk about from his job as Newcastle's head coach with the club in a Barclays Premier League relegation tailspin.

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The Magpies slipped further into trouble on Saturday afternoon when they fell to a 3-1 home defeat by Bournemouth in front of a rebellious home crowd in a game McClaren had admitted was a must-win affair.

But asked afterwards if he would quit, the 54-year-old replied: "No, no way. That's for other people to decide. I don't do that.

"I have enough experience. I have been through this, I have had chants like there have been today quite a few times and that's the perils of being a manager, and especially of this team this season."

It has been an eventful few days for McClaren, who became embroiled in an angry exchange with a journalist on Friday and then received the backing of his players in a public statement hours before kick-off.

Owner Mike Ashley was not at St James' Park, but managing director Lee Charnley and Ashley's PR troubleshooter Keith Bishop were as a growing discontent came to a head.

There was no appetite to dispense with the head coach before the game, but with just 10 fixtures left in which to rescue the club and no sign of things turning on the pitch, he could well be clinging to his job by his fingernails.

Asked if the board shared his confidence that he can keep the club up, McClaren said: "You'll have to ask them. I can't control that, I can only control what we do and as I said to you before, we have got 10 games, it's a four-team league, we play everybody around us in that four-team league.

"It's up to us. But I'll tell you, if we play like that, we are not going to stay up, and they know that, the crowd knows that. Accept the criticism, grow stronger, become a man and get out there and play.

"I came here, I said this is a great club - it still is a great club and I still think it can be a great club. I think it needs things doing to it, but we can do anything about that now. I think I said last week it's not about before, it's not about the summer, it's about now."

There were words of support for McClaren from opposite number Eddie Howe, who backed him to turn the club around if given time.

Asked if he had sympathy for the former England manager, Howe said: "I'm not sure sympathy is the right word because Steve is an outstanding coach, an outstanding manager. He doesn't need my thoughts expressed that way.

"But what I will say is I think he will, if given time, lead the team, lead the club to better times. I think he is a gentleman, I think he knows what he is doing.

"You look at the clubs that he has managed - there's no problem with him and I am sure better times are ahead."

Howe was understandably delighted with his side's performance as Steven Taylor's own goal, a Josh King strike and Charlie Daniels late piledriver eclipsed Ayoze Perez's effort, but insisted their job was not done yet.

He said: "No, that's not us just about there. We have got a lot more work to do. We play Swansea next week, so the games get bigger from our perspective.

"We don't want to let up until we know we are safe, and even if we are able to hit that mark, then we want even more.

"I was very, very pleased with the players. I thought we gave a very good account of ourselves today. The only disappointment from my perspective is that the game wasn't over earlier ."

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