Steve McClaren says Newcastle United is NOT a “bonkers” club – even though joining it can be a “culture shock” for players, writes Miles Starforth.
McClaren’s 18th-placed side is fighting the threat of relegation despite a £50million summer spend.
So, yeah, it’s not an easy football club, as you and we all know, but that’s the situation that we’re in.
Newcastle – who take on Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane tomorrow – signed five players, but none had Premier League experience.
Asked if it was hard for players to adapt to life at what was seen as a “bonkers” club, McClaren said: “That’s a bit harsh.
“But you don’t work inside it, and it’s not so bonkers inside. It looks it, though, doesn’t it, from the outside.”
McClaren feels the only way will be up for Newcastle once the club’s new arrivals fully adapt to life at St James’s Park – and the pace and power of Premier League football.
“A lot of players have been here longer than I have,” said McClaren.
“We only introduced five, and we always said that it would take time for them to adapt. In terms of the job and adapting, it can take the first half of a season to do that.
“I fully expect us to be stronger in the second half than we are in the first half.
“So, yeah, it’s not an easy football club, as you and we all know, but that’s the situation that we’re in.
“I think the players know that, and I think those new ones are coming in are adapting to that. I think it can be a culture shock to them.”
McClaren said his players “crawled” off the pitch after last weekend’s 2-0 win over Liverpool.
“I’ve got to say, it’s what everybody should be doing every week,” he added.