Steve McClaren will be glad to end his unwelcome break at Newcastle

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

It’s said a break is as good as a rest.

But the the past fortnight has been an unwelcome break for Steve McClaren.

Newcastle will have taken some encouragement from West Ham’s home league record so far this season – Slaven Bilic’s side have lost both their fixtures at Upton Park – and McClaren’s counter-attacking game should suit them away from home.

McClaren’s Newcastle United side went into the international break winless.

And the sooner the club gets off the mark in the Premier League, the better.

“We want to keep playing, because that’s when I learn,” said McClaren. “The games are the test.

“We want to get this team winning as quickly as possible.”

McClaren, certainly, has had a lot to think about over the past two weeks, which also saw the closing of the transfer window.

The club’s head coach will be without the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic for tonight’s game against West Ham United at Upton Park, and the squad looks short in a couple of areas.

Newcastle haven’t scored in three league games, and that is the biggest area of concern.

McClaren’s 10-man side didn’t even register a shot on target against Arsenal.

Scoring was also a problem in pre-season, and the onus is on the midfielders to help out.

Newcastle will have taken some encouragement from West Ham’s home league record so far this season – Slaven Bilic’s side have lost both their fixtures at Upton Park – and McClaren’s counter-attacking game should suit them away from home.

But first they must keep 11 men on the pitch.

And that’s something Newcastle have struggled to do so far this season.