A glimpse into the workings of Steve McClaren at Newcastle

Paul Simpson and Steve McClaren.
Paul Simpson and Steve McClaren.

So much for a swearing ban at Newcastle United.

Assistant coach Ian Cathro let a four-letter word slip during an open training session ahead of tonight’s friendly against Sacramento Republic.

But Steve McClaren won’t have minded.

A few dozen fans yesterday got a glimpse into the work being done behind the scenes under new head coach McClaren.

The club invited supporters to watch the team train on a pitch at California State University on a sweltering morning in Sacramento.

First there was a minute’s silence in memory of John Alder and Liam Sweeney a year after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Newcastle players observe a minute silence at training

Newcastle players observe a minute silence at training

Then McClaren and his staff got to work.

While McClaren was working with the defence, Cathro set up the forwards on a one-touch drill.

At one point, Cathro, previously assistant manager at Valencia, barked at the players: “We do not accept s***.”

Good. Too much of that has been accepted in the past.

McClaren – who has reportedly banned swearing at the club – wants professionalism and discipline on and off the field.

And the attitude and application of the players on the training pitch is being closely watched.

They then did some apility and speed work with fitness coach Alessandro Schoenmaker before the whole group worked together under the guidance of McClaren.

The philosophy is to play from the back – and move the ball forward quickly.

Defender Daryl Janmaat, typically, played as if it was a competitive game.

He caught Mehdi Abeid as he made one clearance, but the midfielder quickly picked himself up and dusted himself off.

And the same happened when goalkeeper Tim Krul challenged Papiss Demba Cisse for a low cross from Janmaat. No drama, no theatrics.

The session ended with shooting practice.

Newcastle players then signed autographs and posed for photographs with fans before boarding the coach back to their hotel.

It had been a good PR exercise.

Only time will tell if the exercises on the pitch will pay dividends in the Premier League.