Steve McClaren has questioned the “character” of his relegation-threatened Newcastle United side.
The club takes on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium tonight.
That is inconsistent and that is a character flaw which we have got to come to terms with and put right.Steve McClaren
McClaren’s team, beated 5-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their last game, have struggled away from home all season
And United’s under-fire head coach talked about a “character flaw” in his side ahead of the match.
“We are losing games away from home, and some games we are losing badly, and that is not good enough,” said McClaren, who is battling to save his job.
“The team has shown great performances, and shown their talents, so I think that (character) has been questioned a lot.
“Talent is not enough. You have to perform consistently, individually and collectively.
“You have to have certain characteristics – being hard to beat, solid, doing the work, be disciplined, do the small things.
“And we seem to have a set-back and not recover from that set-back very quickly, which can be followed by another set-back and then another one, which is why the same team can win 1-0 and then the next week lose 5-1 at Chelsea.
“We have to start away from home when things are not always going our way ... dig in, get a result, be harder and be tougher to beat.”
Inconsistency has been a feature of McClaren’s troubled time in charge of Newcastle, who take on Bournemouth at home on Saturday.
“Everybody at the club, the players included, but specially myself, the staff, the fans, see fantastic performances from individuals one week,” he said.
“You think ‘that’s what they can do’ and the next week, it’s the polar opposite and we go from looking as if we can beat the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea on our day and then lose by five or six goals the next week.
“That is inconsistent and that is a character flaw which we have got to come to terms with and put right.”