Steve McClaren says Newcastle United’s hierarchy will do whatever it takes to secure the club’s Premier League status.
McClaren’s relegation-threatened side are two points adrift of safety ahead of this afternoon’s game against leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
And Newcastle maintain their form over the the coming months, they will drop down to the Championship for the second time in seven years.
This month’s transfer window is now open, but, up to now, McClaren, the club’s head coach, has refused to talk about the need for more investment in a squad which has again been found wanting despite a £50million-plus spend last summer.
However, McClaren – who has a place on the club’s board – has hinted at the work on transfers going on “behind the scenes”.
Asked if the hierarchy of Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and Graham Carr understood the “severity” of the club’s situation, the 54-year-old said: “Yes, absolutely.
“They’ve been here longer than me. They know it better than me.
“They’re working extra hard too and there’s work going on behind the scenes, which, if anything does happen, then some of you will definitely be the last to know ... probably.”
McClaren, appointed in the summer, has come under fire from some fans given his team’s poor form.
But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger called for “patience” when asked about United’s predicament ahead of the game.
“He has only just joined the club,” Wenger said.
“Newcastle is a very exciting project ,because it’s a very big club and it’s a fantastic and exciting job for a manager like Steve McClaren, but it is a long-term job.
“This club has a huge potential, and in six months it’s impossible to transform a club of that stature into a club competing for the Premier League.
“Give him time. I know that patience is not the first quality in our society but, unfortunately to be successful, you need it.”
McClaren, for his part, insists he always knew the task he took on at St James’s Park would be “difficult”.
“We have always said it would be difficult,” he said.
“The evidence says that work needs doing. I think everyone knew that at the beginning and certainly everyone knows that halfway through. All I can say is we are prepared to do the work.”