Miles away from home: Hoarse Steve McClaren needs players to do talking

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Not surprisingly, the big story in Milwaukee over the past 48 hours hasn’t been Newcastle United’s arrival.

Instead, the local headlines have been dominated by the decision of Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, to run for the presidency next year.

The big story in Milwaukee hasn’t been Newcastle United’s arrival

Newcastle writer Miles Starforth

But Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren’s pre-match Press call, held in the bowels of Miller Park, was well attended.

A hoarse McClaren could barely speak when he met journalists on Tyneside late late week at United’s Benton training ground.

He joked that he hadn’t had to shout too much since his players reported back for pre-season.

Fortunately, he was in good voice when he met the media with Club Atlas manager Gustavo Matosas.

Now it’s up to his players to do his talking on the pitch.

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There were storms in Milwaukee the night before Newcastle United’s game against Club Atlas.

The humid evening was pocked by thunder and lightning.

But McClaren’s tenure at St James’s Park has been anything but stormy – yet.

But the 54-year-old knows that life in charge of Newcastle, a club once labelled “unmanageable”, is rarely easy.

Just look at the big names that the job has consumed over the years.

For the moment, the sun is shining on United in the USA, and the future, hopefully, is brighter after a darker few years on Tyneside.

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You know you’ve been in this job a long time when players you watched coming through the ranks at Newcastle United are retiring.

Steve Caldwell reluctantly hung up his boots at Toronto FC yesterday, ending a 15-year playing career.

Caldwell’s first-team career at St James’s Park was relatively short.

But the end at Newcastle was just the beginning for the defender, and he went on to captain Sunderland, Burnley and Toronto.

And if those who are starting out in the game now at United, and elsewhere, can match his attitude and commitment, they won’t go far wrong.