Steve McClaren battling to save his job at Newcastle as the New Year approaches

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren is considering dropping big names at Newcastle United as he bids to save his job.

The club’s head coach is under intense pressure after back-to-back defeats.

McClaren must decide whether to give Coloccini, his captain, and Sissoko another chance against Liverpool.

And he knows there must be an upturn in performances AND results this month if he is to keep his job.

Bookmakers slashed the odds on McClaren becoming the next managerial casualty in the wake of the weekend’s 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

McClaren, now odds-on to be the next to go with most bookies, is safe at St James’s Park – for now.

But if the club’s poor form continues towards the New Year, McClaren’s job will be in jeopardy.

McClaren dropped striker Aleksandar Mitrovic at Selhurst Park.

And the 54-year-old – who could have midfielder Cheick Tiote back from injury – is contemplating more changes for Sunday’s home game against Liverpool given the some of the gutless performances against Palace.

McClaren did not name individuals in his blunt assessment of the team’s failings at Selhurst Park.

But defender Fabricio Coloccini and midfielder Moussa Sissoko – two of the club’s highest-profile players – have done little to warrant their continued selection.

And McClaren must decide whether to give Coloccini, his captain, and Sissoko another chance against Liverpool.

The problem for McClaren is that is options are limited by injuries and a lack of squad depth, something that wasn’t addressed in the summer despite a £50million-plus spend.

The Liverpool match is followed by a game away to Tottenham Hotspur on December 13.

But of the fixtures on the horizon, the home game against basement club Aston Villa, now managed by former United target Remi Garde, on December 19 is the most significant for McClaren and United.

Anything other than a victory would give owner Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley a decision to make on McClaren ahead of the busy festive period.

Relegation is unthinkable for Ashley given that a new multi-billion pound TV deals kicks in next season.