Steve McClaren has claimed he would have saved Newcastle United from relegation if he’d been allowed to keep his job at the Magpies.
McClaren was today sacked as Newcastle head coach after the club slumped to 19th in the Premier League table.
The former England boss had presided over a pitiful 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, and after almost a week of speculation was sacked earlier today.
Within hours, Rafa Benitez was confirmed as his replacement, charged with securing their Premier League survival.
A dignified McClaren, in a statement released by the League Managers’ Association, said he was disappointed with the outcome, but wished the club all the best.
The statement read: “I am obviously very disappointed with the decision.
“I appreciate any frustrations relating to the team’s results and the club subsequently finding itself in a battle to avoid relegation. I remain confident, however, that we would have stayed in the Premier League with a view to building for next season.
“Whilst there has been a lot of intense speculation surrounding my position over recent days, my sole priority has been to maintain my professionalism and carry on with my work to best prepare the team.
“I would like to place on record what a privilege it has been to manage Newcastle United Football Club. It is a great a club – the embodiment of the city, with incredible supporters.
“I’d also like to thank Mike Ashley and the Board for giving me the opportunity to manage the club, and the staff and players for their loyalty and efforts.
“For every supporter of Newcastle United, I genuinely hope the club can produce the results I believe they are capable of, between now and the end of the season, to maintain their Premier League status.
“Newcastle United is a club that must build for the long term to deliver what the supporters deserve – success and silverware.”