Steve McClaren: I don’t care who the manager is, we’ll get out of this

Steve McClaren watches from the dugout against Bournemouth
Steve McClaren watches from the dugout against Bournemouth

Steve McClaren says he didn’t blame fans for calling for his dismissal.

Newcastle United supporters chanted for McClaren to be sacked during Saturday’s abject 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth.

Emmanuel Riviere (left) and Andrew Surman battle for the ball

Emmanuel Riviere (left) and Andrew Surman battle for the ball

The result at St James’s Park left the club deeper in relegation trouble ahead of next Monday night’s game against Premier League leaders Leicester City.

Fans chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” and “Steve McClaren, you’re taking us down”.

After the game, McClaren – whose side are second-bottom of the league and a point adrift of safety – vowed to fight on as head coach despite the protests.

Asked about the chants, McClaren said: “That is one of the perils of it, and not my side of it.

That is one of the perils of it, and not my side of it. It is very very understandable, and I don’t blame them at all.

Steve McClaren

“It is very, very understandable, and I don’t blame them at all.

“When you look at that performance, it angers and frustrates me just the same.

“We work with these players and they are better than that. Only a few can come out and say they have the character and handle that. We will make that obvious, and we will do a lot of work behind the scenes.

“I can’t make excuses, I can’t say anything.

Coach Ian Cathro (left) manager Steve McClaren and assistant manager Paul Simpson (right) react in the dugout

Coach Ian Cathro (left) manager Steve McClaren and assistant manager Paul Simpson (right) react in the dugout

“You know, you see it. You know what we have got in, and what we have got out. I have said to the players this is it.

“In that dressing room this is it. And only we can get out of it.”

McClaren was appointed last summer with a brief to guide the club to a top-eight finish in the Premier League.

But the club’s campaign quickly started to unravel, and United’s huge January spend – it spent more than any club in Europe in the last transfer window – is yet to pay dividends on the pitch.

Asked if Newcastle would have been in the same situation under any manager, he said: “I can’t say that.

“You will speculate on that and everything, but that is not for now.

“That is for the end of the season in a review, or even before that or whatever. As I say, it’s about now. Not acceptable.

“Ten games to go. We play every team around us. We need to be better than that to win the games and get us out of this trouble.”

McClaren, sacked as Derby County manager at the end of last season after failing to guide the club into the Championship play-offs, insists he does not have any “self-doubt” – despite the team’s dismal form.

The 54-year-old said: “No, none whatsoever. No self doubt whatsoever.

“As I said, that decision is out of my hands for other people.

“My message is always ‘I think we do the right things, we can work at it, and we have the players in that dressing room to win enough games in the last 10 (games) to get out of it’.

“After (the Bournemouth) performance, if we perform like that, we will not.”

Asked if he felt the players were still listening to him, he said: “Yes, absolutely.

“We’ve been here all season. We’ve had good spells, bad spells.

“That’s the frustrating thing. We said that weeks ago. This team, some days you go ‘wow’.

“Others you go wow, look how poor they are. That’s the frustration.

“Same messages, same thoughts. Change this, change that, tried everything.

“I believe in that dressing room there are enough performances in the last 10 games. I don’t care who the manager is, but the club will get out of this.”