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Kevin Keegan takes swipe at Newcastle's 'shrinking' stars

Published 27/11/2015

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is battling to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is battling to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League

Former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan has claimed the club is too big for some of current head coach Steve McClaren's players.

The Magpies slipped to a humiliating 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by Leicester last Saturday as too many members of McClaren's side went missing at St James' Park a fortnight after they had escaped from promoted Bournemouth with a hugely fortuitous 1-0 victory.

That left the club just a point clear of the drop zone ahead of this weekend's testing trip to Crystal Palace, and facing a relegation fight if McClaren cannot quickly find a solution to his team's difficulties.

According to the Daily Mirror, Keegan told beIN Sports: "This club's going nowhere at the moment and that's very sad.

"I don't think he [McClaren] realised how poor the squad was when he took over. Those players remind me of when I took over all those years ago when they were in the second division. The players' biggest problem was the club was too big for them.

"That's a massive stadium to come out in. For some people, it makes you grow - for the right players, the Shearers, Ginolas, people like that that I had, they just grew in it. But these players are shrinking in it."

Keegan has been an outspoken critic of the Mike Ashley regime since his second spell in charge came to an unseemly end in September 2008 and resulted in a legal battle.

His stance coincides with that of disgruntled fans, some of whom have organised direct action, including walk-outs and boycotts, in recent seasons.

Keegan said: "The supporters want to see players having a go and relate to them and I don't think they can with this team.

"Sadly, they won't stop coming to games. I think if ever they did boycott a game completely, I think it would get the stronger message across.

"But they can't do it, the Geordies. Every time they think they're going to do it they think, 'What do I do? I always go to the game', and they turn up."

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