Read Steve McClaren's letter to Newcastle fans

Fabricio Coloccini
Fabricio Coloccini

Steve McClaren has written to Newcastle United fans in the wake of the club's sixth successive derby defeat.

McClaren's side were beaten 3-0 by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend.

Captain Fabricio Coloccini was controversially sent off in the game with the score goalless.

Coloccini, however, will be available for Saturday's home game against Stoke City after the red card was rescinded.

Head coach McClaren wrote: "Sunday’s derby defeat hurt us all, and every one of us is sorry that we couldn’t deliver you the victory you deserved.

"I am certain that if it hadn’t been for Colo’s sending off, we would have delivered you that victory.

"But with the news of our successful appeal, we draw a line under that match-defining moment and focus on recreating the positives of the minutes that went before.

"Even if you didn’t see the game on Sunday, you’ll know that we bossed it in the first half and hardly gave our hosts a kick.

"With ten men on the pitch we were still the stronger side for large parts of the second half, despite what the score line suggests. We kept attacking the game and that meant gaps opened up that our opponents were able to exploit.

"In spite of the result, training this week has been nothing but positive and preparation has been first class.

"There’s been no feeling sorry for ourselves. Just a group of players and staff who want to show you how passionately we care about your club.

"We’ll put all of the positives and the passion into delivering you three points on Saturday.

"Over the season so far I’ve seen real improvement in our game, particularly over the last month. Our bond and blend as a team gets more solid with every game and the mood in the camp is very optimistic, regardless of our current position in the table.

"I’m confident we can take the best of our performances to date and start turning them into points.

"Stoke have been on a decent run of late and I certainly didn’t see their home defeat to Watford coming. I know Mark Hughes well and he will see that as a huge disappointment. They’ll be especially keen to put on a show this weekend and make up for that loss.

"That makes it even more imperative that we’re on our game and able to stand up to anything the likes of Bojan and (Xherdan) Shaqiri might throw at us. We’re prepared and ready.

"Sadly we won’t have Jack Colback in our line-up this weekend after the results of a further scan on his right knee today. Unfortunately this injury, which was sustained at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, will see him out for up to six weeks and we all wish Jack the very best in his recovery.

"Be assured that in spite of the events of the past week, we go into this weekend’s game with nothing but belief, spirit and total determination to reward your loyalty and support with the three points you deserve."