What a difference a week makes hey?
Last weekend Newcastle United had been played off the park by Swansea City, completely brushed aside at the Liberty Stadium.
Defensively Newcastle were all over the shop, with Daryl Janmaat seeing red after being turned inside out.
The thought of heading to Old Trafford seven days later was a daunting one, with the home side able to call on the likes of Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj and Memphis.
Newcastle needed a leader.
And a leader they got in Fabricio Coloccini.
Heavily criticised in some quarters since signing his new deal, Coloccini came to the fore when his team needed it most in yesterday’s goalless draw at Old Trafford.
Assisted by Steven Taylor and Tim Krul in goal, they made a formidable trio and a backline that the hosts could not breach.
McClaren paid tribute to his captain post-match.
The head coach said: “I think you saw out there [Coloccini] was the leader.
“But from one to 11 and the subs you have to defend well and you have to do your job.
“Concentration is the key thing because I’ve been there when you lose it and you lose the game at the end.
“We kept our focus and could have won it the end.”
The Red Devils started the game as you would have expected, on the front foot.
Wave after wave of red shirts descended on the Newcastle goal. But they held firm.
And McClaren paid tribute to his backline.
He added: “I thought Colo and Taylor and Tim Krul were excellent, they were immaculate.
“They kept us in the game in the first 20 minutes and the last 10 minutes.
“You have to defend well and they showed their experience.”
A welcome break from a tough start to the new Premier League campaign sees Newcastle host Northampton Town on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup.
Changes will be made, with some key personnel given the night off.
But McClaren will be keen to see his first team produce the same kind of resilient and gritty defensive display when Arsenal visit St James’s Park on Saturday.