Steve McClaren: My Newcastle players are ‘crawlers’!

Jack Colback
Jack Colback

Steve McClaren has labelled his Newcastle United players as a bunch of “crawlers”.

The club beat Liverpool 2-0 on Sunday to go level on points in the Premier League with 17th-placed Bournemouth.

You’ve got to work really hard (and) crawl back into the dressing room. That’s what they’ve done. Every time we’ve won, got a result – that’s what they’ve done.

Steve McClaren

And the result eased the pressure on head coach McClaren, who seen the odds on his dismissal slashed in the wake of the 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Newcastle took the lead through a Martin Skrtel own goal – the defender turned a shot from Georginio Wijnaldum into his own net – and Alberto Moreno had a strike disallowed for offside, a decision which visiting manager Jurgen Klopp took issue with after the match.

McClaren, however, felt his players made their own luck, having worked so hard that they “crawled” off the pitch at the final whistle.

“That’s what you’ve got to do to win a game in the Premier League,” said McClaren.

“You’ve got to work, to run. We talked about that before the game.

“You’ve got to work really hard (and) crawl back into the dressing room. That’s what they’ve done. Every time we’ve won, got a result – that’s what they’ve done.”

United today started to prepare for Sunday’s game against fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

“They’ve got to maintain that,” added McClaren.

“They’ve just proved the harder you work, the luckier you get.

“At the start you could see that lack of confidence, but they grew into the game. I thought we deserved to win.”

McClaren also felt that the performance proved that the players – who had been heavily criticised after the Palace defeat and the loss to Leicester City eight days earlier – do care about the club.

“We’ve talked a lot about that this week,” he said. “They do care. There is desire.

“They’re young players. They have to learn. What we’ve been through in the last few weeks, they’ve go to learn from that and come back with performances like that.

“Then you make your own luck.”

Meanwhile, McClaren could have midfielder Cheick Tiote – who has missed the last two matches – back from injury for the Tottenham game.