Thursday 27 October 2016

Steve McClaren thanks Sir Alex Ferguson for derby day introduction

Published 24/10/2015 | 10:31

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is refusing to look at the Premier League standings
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is refusing to look at the Premier League standings

Steve McClaren will approach his first Wear-Tyne derby fully prepared for what is to come after being thrown in at the deep end by Sir Alex Ferguson.

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The then Manchester United coach was asked to take charge of the first team for their own local showdown with arch-rivals City in November 2000 as Ferguson attended his son's wedding in South Africa.

It proved to be a good day for McClaren as an early David Beckham free-kick secured a 1-0 win at Maine Road.

Asked about his derby highlights, the 54-year-old said: "The biggest highlight was the first derby I took charge of, which was Man United v Man City.

"Sir Alex had gone away to his son's wedding in South Africa and I had to do the game, so that was pretty nerve-wracking and one I remember very well.

"I have got to thank again, as I have on other occasions, David Beckham for winning that game.

"Derby games are special no matter. I've had a few in different countries. I'm looking forward to this one. I can't wait for the atmosphere.

"The fans make the atmosphere, but we want to win, as we do every week, but especially this week. We want to get a result for the fans."

McClaren had a few anxious weeks to prepare for the Manchester derby, and he revealed his efforts earned him a long-distance pat on the back from his boss.

He said with a smile: "He told me a few weeks before the game, so I didn't sleep for a long time. He rang me from South Africa after."

The Magpies will run out at the Stadium of Light on Sunday having finally ended their wait for a first Barclays Premier League win of the season against Norwich last weekend, although McClaren is adamant his approach on Sunday will be no different as a result.

He said: "Momentum is a big thing and that's what we've got to do, no matter who the opponent is. It just happens to be Sunderland.

"The effects of it, no, we are not going to get carried away. We tried not to in the first eight games - it's been difficult - but we tried not to.

"We definitely haven't got carried away by last week's game, and whatever happens on Sunday, we are definitely not going to get carried away one way or the other by the result."

Press Association

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