Steve McClaren has called for calm around his Newcastle United side – and insists the players are capable of getting the club out of trouble.
The Magpies are deep in a relegation battle after a dreadful season in which they have won just seven games.
It’s 18 days in terms of reflection, getting players fit and some players fitter, and going again.Steve McClaren
McClaren’s position has again come under scrutiny after a pitiful 5-1 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday saw them slip back into the bottom three of the Premier League.
United are now without a game until they face Stoke City on March 2, and have flown out to Spain for warm weather training and a friendly against Norweigan side Lillestrom this weekend.
McClaren has welcomed the break, and says it allows the squad to regroup, and for injured players like Papiss Cisse, Paul Dummett, Siem de Jong and Vurnon Anita to work on their fitness.
And just as importantly, he wants to ease the tension ahead of the crucial run-in to the end of the season.
“The break is good for us,” McClaren said.
“It’s 18 days in terms of reflection, getting players fit and some players fitter, and going again.
“We need to stay calm and stable.
“We’ve got 12 games and what’s in that dressing room is very capable of seeing us through this.”
One area the players and coaching staff must improve upon is Newcastle’s shocking away form.
The Magpies have picked up just seven points on their travels all season, and McClaren says it’s not a case of telling the players a few home truths as they’re all fully aware of the need to improve.
He added: “I think in terms of home truths, they get that every day, not just from us but from fans, from the media, everybody.
“They know it and sometimes it’s a progression thing and we have to build that, but we certainly need to start picking up points away from home if we are going to climb out of this.”