Mark Hughes' verdict on Steve McClaren's start at Newcastle – and the club's £50m summer spend

Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes feels Newcastle United will quickly climb the Premier League table – once Steve McClaren’s new-look team “gels”.

Hughes’ Stoke City visit St James’s Park tomorrow.

Second-bottom Newcastle desperately need a win after last weekend’s derby defeat to Sunderland.

And Stoke manager Hughes said: “There’s huge demands. It seems to be a club that sways from one issue to another. Whoever is manager has to deal with that.

“Obviously, Steve has been through these periods before.

“It’s an opportunity at a big club which Steve would think he deserves given the career he’s had, and he will be looking to turn things round quickly.

“They spent £40million to £50million, and they haven’t brought bad players into the group, but it takes time for players to gel and maybe that hasn’t happened as quickly as everybody we have hoped.”

Hughes – whose side knocked Chelsea out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night – watched the Wear-Tyne derby.

"I thought they were the better team at Sunderland before the sending off," said Hughes.

“They will think they were hard done by and will want to put that right this weekend.

“Prior to that game, they had a big win against Norwich, and they will still be buoyed by that victory.

“It is always difficult to play Newcastle away, and we will need to replicate the performance levels we showed on Tuesday if we are to get a positive result.”