Standard has been set at Newcastle United – Steve McClaren

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren.
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren.

Steve McClaren has been working his players hard since taking charge at Newcastle United in the summer.

And the club’s head coach believes they reaped the rewards for their graft on the training ground in the point they picked up at Old Trafford last weekend.

It shows how hard they worked in that game.

But ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League match with Arsenal, McClaren has a clear message to his players: “You have set the standard now.”

The former Middlesbrough, England and Derby County manager admits some of his players were “knackered” after putting in an exhausting shift against Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side.

Several were given the night off for the Capital One Cup win over Northampton Town, with McClaren making nine changes.

Statistics showed the Toon players ran further than any other team in the top flight last weekend.

McClaren insists they will need to match those levels again if they are to get anything from the home game against Arsene Wenger’s side.

“Saturday took a lot out of them,” McClaren told the Gazette.

“Some of the players were absolutely knackered afterwards and so they should have been.

“We did tell them, to get the result or even to get close, they would have to die out there. And they did.

“We have seen the statistics, in terms of the distances they have run, and from all the Premier League clubs we were the most.

“It shows how hard they worked in that game.

“They have set a standard for themselves now,” added McClaren, who is looking to win his first league game of the season at the fourth time of asking tomorrow.

Newcastle have picked up points at home to Southampton and away to Manchester United and been beaten 2-0 away at Swansea City in the league.