Steve McClaren hits back at Alan Shearer’s claim that he was fortunate to get Newcastle job

Steve McClaren addresses his Newcastle United squad ahead of the big kick-off against Southampton
Steve McClaren addresses his Newcastle United squad ahead of the big kick-off against Southampton
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Steve McClaren has responded to Alan Shearer’s claim that he was fortunate to get the Newcastle United job after “messing up” at Derby County.

McClaren was sacked by Derby at the end of last term after missing out on a place in the Championship play-offs.

We had a bad two months at Derby, explainable through injuries, but the previous 22 months were very good.

Steve McClaren

But the 54-year-old was quickly back in work at Newcastle, where he was appointed head coach.

And ex-United striker Shearer said: “He messed up with Derby at the end of last season.

“It is a great chance for him, because not many managers would get the opportunity to come to a club like Newcastle after losing their job at a Championship side.”

Asked about Shearer’s comments, McClaren said: “I can understand people saying that.

“We had a bad two months at Derby, explainable through injuries, but the previous 22 months were very good.

“We were near the top of the league all the time, and our style of football was recognised by football (people). I can understand that point of view, and that’s no problem.

“I’ve got the opportunity and it is something I have wanted since I’ve lived in this area. I am grateful to the people that have given me this opportunity.”

McClaren managed England earlier in his career, but he doesn’t think that job and the Newcastle post are poisoned chalices.

“I don’t see that,” he said. “I see them as opportunities. That’s what we have been given here.

“Pressure is a privilege. When you are going through it, you don’t think of it as a privilege.

“But when you sit back and reflect, it is a privilege to be in that position.”