Steve McClaren takes unusual step of singling out individuals in post-match assessment

Steve McClaren says stand-in captain Jonjo Shelvey was right to lay into his Newcastle United team-mates.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 8:01 am
Updated Monday, 7th March 2016, 8:36 am
Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jonjo Shelvey

Shelvey's frustrations boiled over in Saturday's 3-1 defeat Bournemouth at St James's Park.

The result left head coach McClaren on the brink of the sack – and the club a point adrift of Premier League safety.

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McClaren handed Shelvey the captain's armband in the absence through injury of skipper Fabricio Coloccini because he is one of the most vocal and demonstrative players on the pitch.

Asked about the midfielder's finger-wagging at his team-mates, McClaren said: "I am afraid that is exactly what I want.

"It is exactly what they have got to handle and put up with, because it is exactly what 52,000 people are doing.

"That is the message I am sending into the dressing room – handle what's said. The criticism: fight it. Don't drop your heads, keep going, body language has to be better.

"Show the supporters you are up for the fight."

Up to now, McClaren has been reluctant to single out individuals for praise or criticism.

But the 54-year-old – who took the unusual step of substituting midfielder Moussa Sissoko – named the "characters" in his side after the Bournemouth loss.

"There weren’t enough characters out there," said McClaren.

"The likes of Rob Elliot, Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, who had to play midfield and left-back, Jonjo Shelvey – that’s what we need.

"Players have to follow that, and we have to find a solution to that on a more regular basis."