Steve McClaren’s been a ‘fresh wind’ at Newcastle – and blown away negativity

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

Tim Krul says Steve McClaren has been a “fresh wind” at Newcastle United – and blown away the negativity.

The club kicked off its Premier League campaign with a 2-2 home draw against Southampton on Sunday.

I think it needed freshening, and the gaffer definitely came in and changed a few things

Tim Krul

Newcastle fought a relegation battle in the latter months of last season, and the club only secured it’s top-flight status on the final day of the campaign.

McClaren was tasked with guiding the club back up the league table after his appointment as head coach in June.

And goalkeeper Krul feels the changes he has made behind the scenes will soon pay dividends on the pitch, while McClaren himself believes the team only showed a fraction of its potential against Southampton.

“I think it needed a fresh wind, and the gaffer definitely came in and changed a few things,” said long-serving Krul.

“We showed a few patches of it (against Southampton), and the manager walked in the changing room and he said to us that he thinks we can add another 40 per cent to what we showed.”

While frustrasted at Shane Long’s 79th-minute equaliser, Krul was happy with the point United took from Southampton, who had played two competitive Europa League games before travelling to Tyneside.

“I think we’re pleased with a point,” said the 27-year-old. “We had some great chances, but I think they had some good chances as well.

“It was a good game to start us off. There were a lot of positives.

“I think they were happy and I think we should be as well.

“We can’t be too greedy. I think we showed some real good signs.

“We’ve got some real quality on and off the pitch as well with the boys who came off the bench as well.

“It’s important to have that to give a little boost. A few of the boys were a bit tired after 70 or 80 minutes.”

The club’s summer signings – Georginio Wijnaldum, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic – made their debuts against Southampton.

Wijnaldum scored Newcastle’s second goal, while Mbemba was paired with captain Fabricio Coloccini in central defence.

“He (Mbemba) is a top player,” said Krul. “Him and Colo read the game really well. He had a great debut.

“I said to him in the changing room we have to build up that relationship.

“That will come. He will save me a few times, and I will save him.”

Mbemba can’t speak English, and Krul gave him a crash course in the words he needed to know before his debut.

“I gave him a few words before the game,” said the Holland international. “I said if I say ‘keeper - get out of the way’, you are going to get a punch on the head!

“He’s a top player. You can see that. He’s confident on the ball and I think he’ll be a real asset for us.”

On close friend Wijnaldum, Krul added: “I’m pleased he got his goal, in front of the Gallowgate as well. I’ve told him a lot about the stadium and about the fans.”