Tuesday 20 March 2018

McClaren rejects kicking conspiracy

Steve McClaren stresses Newcastle did not try and kick Jefferson Montero out of the game
Steve McClaren stresses Newcastle did not try and kick Jefferson Montero out of the game

Steve McClaren rejected Swansea boss Garry Monk's accusation that Newcastle tried to stop Jefferson Montero with a tactic to "basically try and kick him".

Newcastle went down timidly to a 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat after right-back Daryl Janmaat had been sent off four minutes before half-time for two bookable offences.

The Dutch defender was booked for his second foul on Montero after 17 minutes and, after almost bringing him down again inside the penalty area, he was banished for tugging back the Ecuadorian winger deep inside Swansea's own half.

"You could see their tactics was basically try and kick him (Montero), and full credit to the referee for spotting it straight away," Swansea manager Monk said after the game.

"Quite rightly the player was sent off in the end.

"We talked before the game about Jeff being protected and that's important because it will be a tactic going forward."

But Newcastle boss McClaren dismissed Monk's claim that Newcastle had sought to stop Montero by targeting him for rough treatment, with the former England manager insisting his team do not play that way.

"We haven't got a team capable of doing that and I don't think the game represents that now," said McClaren.

"Our team is a football team, not kickers, so I would dispute that.

"As always, you make your presence known to your opponent, which we did, but there was one tackle too many.

"I thought the red card was harsh, he was a long way from goal and it was a little tug. I thought the referee could have been lenient."

Monk, however, was delighted after Swansea built on their opening-day draw away to champions Chelsea with a comprehensive victory, courtesy of goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew.

"I talked to the players all week that good teams and good players are able to back up good performances with another one," Monk said.

"We did that and we executed the plan very well.

"We looked dangerous at points of the game and showed maturity when they went to 10 men as we didn't force the game but took the openings when they came."

Newcastle's defeat came after an opening-day draw at home to Southampton, and McClaren said: "We've learned nothing today apart from we need to keep 11 players on the field.

"I don't think you can judge us on that game and that performance, which is a shame.

"It's kind of a waste of a game when we need to learn about the players and how we go about things."

Press Association

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