Steve McClaren confident he can turn things round at Newcastle
Steve McClaren is confident he can deliver the changes needed at Newcastle, despite a dreadful start to his reign on Tyneside.
McClaren was drafted into St James' Park during the summer after owner Mike Ashley had signalled his intention to invest significantly in the squad and target cup success.
But eight games into McClaren's tenure, the 54-year-old has tasted victory only once - against League Two side Northampton - and has shown little sign of being able to mould a team from the players he inherited and the expensive additions made to the squad during the last transfer window.
The Magpies head into Saturday night's home clash with Chelsea sitting one place off the foot of the Barclays Premier League with just two points from their first six fixtures, and with managing director Lee Charnley having felt the need to back McClaren and apologise for that start in an email to fans.
However, the head coach said: "The club wanted it - that's why we came in. Everyone was clamouring for change at Newcastle United, from the top right the way through.
"They have certainly got that from the top in terms of re-iterating about (the approach to) the cups, spending money... I think everything they said about changing Newcastle is happening. What is not happening is results on the field. Change is tough and hard.
"Why? Five wins in 32 games, staying up by the skin of their teeth - that's why everyone is clamouring for change."
Earlier, Charnley had urged patience in a message which McClaren insisted was not a vote of confidence.
The managing director said: "Whilst we are all unhappy, we must not panic or make rash decisions. We should not forget we are still relatively early into the season with lots of games to go and points to play for."
McClaren pointed to his five-year spell at Middlesbrough as evidence that his methods work, even if there were some rocky moments along the way.
He said: "The first year was...painful. Second year, third, fourth and fifth, we had damn good players. But as I said to the players in there (the Newcastle dressing room), you will be there.
"I think February-time, 4-0 against Aston Villa, people came on and starting throwing season tickets at me, and we went on two months later to the semi-final of the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup final. That's kind of the experience that you've got to go through."