Steve McClaren is relieved to be on the training field for the first time as Newcastle United head coach – after getting cabin fever in his office.
McClaren oversaw the first day of pre-season training yesterday at the club’s Benton HQ.
I’ve been here two and a half weeks more or less on my own – talking to a lot of people and doing a lot of work behind the scenes – and it feels real when players actually come back.Steve McClaren
United’s players underwent fitness tests and also did some light ball work on the practice pitch.
McClaren, appointed last month, now has a week to get them ready for Newcastle first pre-season game at Gateshead on July 10.
Up to now, the 54-year-old has been largely working from his office fielding calls and planning the club’s pre-season programme.
“It’s great to get them back,” said McClaren, who has only been allowed to speak to the club’s “preferred media partners” since his appointment.
“It’s great to get some work done.
“I’ve been here two and a half weeks more or less on my own – talking to a lot of people and doing a lot of work behind the scenes – and it feels real when players actually come back.
“This is where the work is done. We say preparation is key Monday to Friday.
“If you get the preparation right, Saturday you’re ready to play.
“This is the best part of the job as a player or coach.”
McClaren went on: “The job feels real – I’ve been in an office too many times talking to people.
“I’ve talked to the players, and this is where we are now.
“Talking’s all well and good, it’s what you do on the field.
“This is why it’s enjoyable to get out there and start the work.”