Steve McClaren’s admitted that there’s NO case for the defence at Newcastle United.
McClaren’s out-of-form side has conceded eight goals in its last two games.
What we have talked about a lot is we have conceded 30 goals in 14 game, and that’s not good enough. We have had two clean sheets.Steve McClaren
And their next opponents are Jurgen Klopp’s in-form Liverpool, who scored six goals in their midweek Capital One Cup win over Southampton.
Head coach McClaren – who switched to a three-man defence in the second half against Crystal Palace last weekend – is contemplating changes to both his system and starting XI ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League match.
However, an injury to the Mike Williamson, recalled from a loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers this week, has limited his defensive options.
“What we have talked about a lot is we have conceded 30 goals in 14 games, and that’s not good enough,” said McClaren, whose side are second-bottom of the league.
“We have had three clean sheets. We came away from Bournemouth (where United won 1-0), and we thought we might have turned a corner, but in the next two we conceded eight.
“The frustrating thing about everything is the inconsistency. Consistency – when you haven’t got that – is as fragile as confidence.”
McClaren recalled Williamson from Molineux in the wake of an injury to defender Jamaal Lascelles and Newcastle’s embarrassing loss to Alan Pardew’s Palace at Selhurst Park, which saw the club drop into the relegation zone.
The 54-year-old, aware that many fans feel he should drop captain Fabricio Coloccini, says he is “contemplating everything” ahead of Liverpool’s visit to St James’s Park.
“We are contemplating everything,” he said. “The main thing is we are conceding too many goals.
“People talk about individuals and the back four, but it is about the team. When we were keeping clean sheets against Stoke and Bournemouth, it was a team effort, but also good individual defending.
“We have talked a lot about that.
“We’ve worked a lot on trying to keep clean sheets, because, otherwise, if you don’t, you are always going to be in trouble.”
After his appointment in the summer, McClaren said his No 1 priority was shoring up a defence which had leaked 63 goals last season.