Ian Cathro reveals why he joined Steve McClaren at Newcastle

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

Ian Cathro feels Newcastle United are ready for a “fresh” start under new head coach Steve McClaren.

Cathro will this week be confirmed as McClaren’s No 2 at St James’s Park.

Steve coming in has brought a freshness and enthusiasm to get the club back to where it should be and serve the love that exists for it.

Ian Cathro

Paul Simpson, McClaren’s first-team coach at former club Derby County, will also join the club after leaving the iPro Stadium.

And strength and conditioning coach Alessandro Schoenmaker – who has worked with McClaren at FC Twente, Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest as well as Derby – is also heading to Tyneside to replace the departed Dave Billows.

But Cathro is the most significant appointment.

Bolo Zenden and Phil Neville had been sounded out about the post, but the former opted to stay at PSV Eindhoven, while Neville, ironically, will replace Cathro at Valencia, where he assisted Nuno Espirito Santo

Ambitious Cathro feels the move is a logical step for him.

The 28-year-old said: “It’s a forward step to a different type of football. Not stronger or weaker, different.

“I wanted a fresh challenge and didn’t want to just sit it out over there and wait for the right manager’s job to come up.

“To come into British football as a manager with no experience of working with English-speaking players is perhaps not advisable anyway, so this makes perfect sense.

“Steve coming in has brought a freshness and enthusiasm to get the club back to where it should be and serve the love that exists for it.

“I’m convinced that it’s a club willing to grow and would be comfortable higher in the league. It’s now ready to do that.”

Newcastle endured a miserable campaign last season.

Asked about leaving a Champions League club to one which narrowly avoided relegation last season, Cathro added: “I’m completely comfortable with it.

“I’m going to watch Valencia in the Champions League and in La Liga and enjoy them playing in wonderful games in great stadiums.

“But I’ve no fear of missing out because the intention is to go to that level again.

“If that was with Newcastle, that would be perfect, but if not I’ll certainly be back working abroad in the next five to 10 years.”