Steve McClaren says he STILL has confidence in his Newcastle United players – but he has admitted that there’s a crisis of confidence at the club.
McClaren’s side take on in-form Liverpool at St James’s Park on Sunday, with Newcastle 19th in the Premier League after back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City.
Many people say that the players don’t care or don’t try, but it really is as simple as confidence.Steve McClaren
Head coach McClaren feels the biggest challenge he has is injecting confidence into a team which has won just five league games this year.
The 54-year-old used the word “confidence” 18 times in his TV Press conference yesterday.
Asked if he himself was confident he could still make a success of the job, McClaren said: “Yes.
“I’ve got confidence in these players because three weeks ago I was happy. We’d had a good two weeks (after the Bournemouth win) thinking that we’d turned the corner a little bit and looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“Two games later, we are where we are. That’s the frustration about the job.”
McClaren talked to out-of-form midfielder Moussa Sissoko about the problem of confidence this week.
He said: “It was an interesting conversation with Moussa.
“In the cold light of day, five wins in a year doesn’t bode well for confidence and belief, and that’s one of the things we have to turn around.
“Many people say that the players don’t care or don’t try, but it really is as simple as confidence.
“In any sport, individually or collectively, confidence is a major, major word. And our confidence, we felt, was growing and it’s been knocked. Our confidence is, at the present moment, very fragile.”