Steve McClaren considering tactical change to get Newcastle moving forward

Vurnon Anita
Vurnon Anita

Steve McClaren is ready to break up the midfield partnership between Jack Colback and Vurnon Anita.

The pair have been used as defensive midfielders in Newcastle United’s opening five Premier League games.

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

But head coach McClaren – who admits he does not yet know his best team – is considering a reshuffle given the need to give his team more impetus going forward.

And Anita could find himself on the bench against Watford at St James’s Park this afternoon.

Forward Ayoze Perez seems certain to be recalled, with striker Papiss Demba Cisse likely to be axed in the wake of his poor showing in Monday night’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham United.

McClaren has conceded Newcastle, without a goal in more than four games, simply haven’t created enough.

We have started solidly, and played Jack and Vurnon in there as defensive midfield players

Steve McClaren

“We have started solidly, and played Jack and Vurnon in there as defensive midfield players, which we’ve needed to do in the majority of the games we’ve played,” said McClaren.

“And we have only played five games.

“The only thing is, and it is a concern, but we’ve played two games with 10 men and not created a lot, understandably.

“Monday was one of those games when I thought ‘let’s have a look’.

“When I look at stats we have created as many chances as West Ham, had twice as many crosses as them (and) we’ve had the ball in the penalty area twice as many times as them.

“They had the difference in (Dimitri) Payet who could score. He is a No 10, and did very well.

“It is just a process going along, and you’ve got to work on that process and find the best team that can create chances and score.

“I believe that we have players who can score.”

– MILES STARFORTH