Steve McClaren reacts to Karl Darlow's error in Newcastle's defeat at The Hawthorns

Karl Darlow
Karl Darlow

Steve McClaren has bemoaned the "soft goal" which cost Newcastle United a point at The Hawthorns.

McClaren's side were beaten 1-0 by West Bromwich Albion this afternoon.

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow, a late replacement in the starting XI for the unwell Rob Elliot, fumbled a header from Darren Fletcher in the 78th minute.

McClaren – whose third-from-bottom side are two points adrift of safety in the Premier League at the halfway stage of the season – had been happy with his team's defending up to that point.

"We defended so many set-plays into the box magnificently and fought for the right to defend well," said the club's head coach.

"To die in the box in order to keep the ball out, as we say. It was a soft goal and that's the difference."

McClaren was furious at the failure of referee Mike Jones to award a penalty against Jonny Evans, who "manhandled" Aleksandar Mitrovic as he lined up a shot.

"It's about decisions," said McClaren, whose team were beaten 1-0 by Everton on Boxing Day.

"I'm afraid the referee will look back and say he got that decision wrong.

"Mitrovic was being manhandled in the area and was put off his shot. I've seen it so many times. It's unbelievable. It's cost us three points.

"They go up the other end and score the vital goal and we've got nothing out of the last two games.

"But we've showed great attitude and the players have fought away.

"We're not getting much luck at the moment. We conceded with the last kick of the game at Everton, and we should have scored first in this one with that penalty."