Steve McClaren says he’ll never be a pessimist despite Newcastle’s precarious position

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren (left) and Consultant Steve Black (right) after the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 21, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Newcastle. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren (left) and Consultant Steve Black (right) after the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 21, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Newcastle. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Steve McClaren insists he will ‘never become a pessimist’ – despite Newcastle’s precarious Premier league position.

The Magpies go into the second half of the campaign stuck in the relegation zone and facing a long scrap for survival.

McClaren has remained upbeat and positive – in public, at least – despite a tough first six months of his reign.

He has been criticised for trying to put a positive spin on some of Newcastle’s recent defeats and poor performances, but he insists he will continue to look on the bright side along with his backroom staff, which includes Steve Black, who is famed for his motivational prowess.

And McClaren says that everyone at the club, from Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley down, are desperate to improve their position.

“I never become a pessimist,” said McClaren.

“I’m surrounded by good people, good staff.

“Believe it or not behind the scenes there are good people who want the club to do well.

“They really want it to do well, and that’s from the top all the way down.

“You know and I know that over the years no one works within a football club who doesn’t want it be better, so we want to keep getting better and we are trying behind the scenes.”

With Newcastle third-bottom going into today’s game against title-chasing Arsenal, they are in danger of slipping further adrift at the Emirates today.

The transfer window has opened, giving the Magpies the opportunity to bolster their squad, especially in attack.

When asked whether the hard work behind the scenes will be enough to see Newcastle beat the drop, McClaren added: “We will see. You can’t say at half-time.

“I’ve had many a nightmare first half, but the second half has been terrific and a turnaround. That’s the kind of thing we need – and we expect.

“I’ve been here before and I still don’t like it – I never liked it before and I still don’t like it now.

“It frustrates, annoys, angers, disappoints – but it’s no good doing nothing about it.

“We’re working hard to change things and keep plugging away.”