Steve McClaren’s adamant that he will be given the time he needs to turn Newcastle United’s fortunes around.
McClaren’s side are bottom of the Premier League after Saturday’s 6-1 defeat to Manchester City.
We’ve spoken from day one about this. In fact he has probably stressed it more than I did about how much it would take, and about how much time it would take.
Sergio Aguero scored five goals in a devastating 20-minute period at the Etihad Stadium, where Newcastle had taken the lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic.
And the club’s head coach, tasked with guiding the club to a top-eight finish by owner Mike Ashley after his appointment in June, is under intense pressure ahead of their next home game against Norwich City and the Wear-Tyne derby on October 25.
However, McClaren, also on the club’s board, insists that the hierarchy always knew it would take time to revive the club’s fortunes given that United only narrowly escaped relegation last season.
Asked if Ashley was going to be patient, McClaren said: “I don’t speak to Mike. It’s (managing director) Lee Charnley’s who I speak to.
“We’ve spoken from day one about this. In fact he has probably stressed it more than I did about how much it would take, and about how much time it would take.
“He said ‘This is a job for an experienced person’, and that’s why we’re here.
“We’ve got an experienced staff who can cope with this and deal with this.
“Will it turn around over night? No. But there’s a reality from everybody looking that that’s where we are and it’s up to us now, it’s our responsibility now to turn that around.”
Newcastle had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside and City goalkeeper also made a crucial save to deny Mitrovic a second goal.
“This was never going to be easy,” he said.
“It’s proving now how difficult it is. When you can get spells in games where you look very good, and other spells where there’s a collapse in 13 minutes.
“That’s not going to get us anywhere. We’re in a fight, and what do you need, you need fighters.
“So we have to come out in two weeks’ time and fight. The team’s capable of doing that.
“There’s top quality there. In the first half we came here to win. If we got the second it might have been different. It wasn’t – we have to react better to goals that go in.”