Steve McClaren has revealed he told Georginio Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko that they had to work harder than any other Newcastle player if they were to beat Liverpool.
The two midfielders came to the fore in the 2-0 win at St James’s Park today as the Magpies picked up a vital three points.
Wijnaldum lached on to a Sissoko cross before seeing his shot deflected into the net by Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel for the opener.
And in injury time, Sissoko broke from midfield and played a slide-rule pass for Wijnaldum to complete the scoring with a fantastic counter-attacking goal.
It completed a much better performance from the Magpies with the attitude and desire a world away from recent defeats.
McClaren said: “It’s all right putting a plan in place but it’s all about players - the players’ desire, discipline, concentration and focus to do the work.
“There’s always a plan and if you lose it goes wrong.
“Today, we talked about the workrate and talked about how the two hardest-working players had to be Sissoko and Wijnaldum in the system we play.
“They did that, we pressed from the front, we worked as a team, kept compact and when you keep your discipline, when you keep your focus, when you compete and win your duels, you get results.”