Happy clappy Steve McClaren’s vow to Newcastle fans

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren applauds the travelling fans after the final whistle  at the Stadium of Light
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren applauds the travelling fans after the final whistle at the Stadium of Light

Steve McClaren says he will ALWAYS applaud Newcastle United’s fans after games – win, lose or draw.

McClaren went on to the pitch to acknowledge the club’s travelling support after last weekend’s derby defeat to Sunderland.

Steve McClaren claps the fans at the end of the game against Man City

Steve McClaren claps the fans at the end of the game against Man City

The applause was reciprocated given the team’s first-half performance at the Stadium of Light.

But the mood was very different in the stands after last month’s Capital One Cup defeat to Championship club Sheffield Wednesday’s reserve team at St James’s Park when McClaren and his players applauded supporters.

McClaren – who says he is trying to “reconnect” with fans – won’t hide after games, whatever the result, having always taken to the field during his time managing in Germany and Holland.

“The fans are important,” said McClaren, whose second-from-bottom side take on Stoke City at St James’s Park this afternoon.

“It is something which, when I was in Holland was kind of a ritual.

“What our president would say (was that) it might have been good, bad or indifferent, but there were always some fans who went to the game who appreciated the effort put in and they would probably stay behind and we had to applaud them.

“It was a tradition in Holland and in Germany, and I thought it was a good one

“We are just trying to reconnect and get closer to the fans.”

Asked if he would do it whatever the result, McClaren added: “I’d like to.

“I once stormed off in Holland with the centre-forward, and the president kicked me back out so that taught me a lesson in that.”

McClaren insisted that his players stay on the pitch to acknowledge the club’s supporters after the Wednesday cup defeat.

“It was difficult, but I said to the players ‘that is our audience’,” said McClaren.

“I know it is not the theatre when everyone stands up and get a round of applause. Of course, it is different. But you have got to have that toughness to stay there and not to skulk off.

“We will keep trying to do it.”

Meanwhile, McClaren is hopeful there won’t be a hangover from the club’s sixth successive derby defeat.

“We have all got a responsibility to react well to games whether we win, lose or draw, and that’s something we have done well, I think, for 10 games,” he said.

“The inconsistencies, the bad results, the bad performances, things that have happened, I think we have dealt with them very calmly, very well, and I credit the players with that also.

“Yes, that was very, very disappointing and it was interesting to see the players’ reaction and focus from Tuesday onwards.”