Steve McClaren will NOT walk away from Newcastle job

Steve McClaren is under pressure
Steve McClaren is under pressure

Steve McClaren says he won’t walk away from the job Newcastle United – despite a “painful” start to his St James’s Park career.

The Magpies are one point above the Premier League relegation zone ahead of this afternoon’s game against Crystal Palace.

McClaren and his players were booed after last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat to Leicester City.

Toon legend Alan Shearer labelled the team’s performance “woeful, embarrassing, hopeless and inept” and McClaren held an inquest into that game a the start of the week.

McClaren is the second-favourite in the Premier League’s sack race behind Swansea boss Garry Monk.

But the head coach – who insists he “absolutely” still believes in the blueprint at St James’s Park – still feels he is still the right man to revive United’s fortunes after years of relegation battles.

Asked if he had considered walking away, he said: “No, no.

“Absolutely, I knew this was tough, and for all the comments from other people, we knew it was going to be tough. We all did.

“It’s about turning it around and it’s a long process. And a painful one at times. I don’t like watching my teams performing like they did last week.

“That was painful to watch. What I like to do is get out on to the training field and do something about it.”

McClaren doesn’t feel the under-performing players he inherited will cost him his job.

He said: “I hope not. We’ll work on the field to make sure that’s not the case.

“We’re trying to produce a team the fans are proud of. That was from day one.

“When I came in we said it was a tough job. It is tough. I knew we’d have good days and bad days, and we have.

“It’s about staying calm and getting a response after a bad day.

“And that’s what we said we’d do. We’d get a reaction on the training field . We certainly had that.

“We need a reaction (against Palace). In terms of performance we certainly need that.”

McClaren – tasked with delivering a top-eight finish and a cup run by United managing director Lee Charnley – believes things will soon start to fall into place at Newcastle.

Asked if he had any “self-doubt”, he added: “No. None whatsoever.

“We know the process. We’ve got great staff here. Behind the scenes it’s excellent - the staff and the players.

“Everybody’s been fantastic. Everybody wants to get better and there’s just something that we need to add to it and that will take time.”