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Steve McClaren working hard to turn Newcastle's season around

Published 01/01/2016

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren admits he is frustrated by the club's plight
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren admits he is frustrated by the club's plight

Steve McClaren admits he is frustrated, annoyed, angered and disappointed by the start to his reign at Newcastle.

The 54-year-old has endured an intensely difficult first six months at the St James' Park helm and heads into 2016 with the club sitting inside the Barclays Premier League relegation zone two points from safety at the halfway stage in the campaign.

He has endured tough times before during his managerial career, most notably during his early years at Middlesbrough and later as England boss and while he is not enjoying the current situation, he insists he can cope with it.

McClaren said: "I've been here before and I still don't like it - I never liked it before and I still don't like it now. It frustrates, annoys, angers, disappoints - but it's no good doing nothing about it.

"We're working hard to change things and we'll keep plugging away. Really knowing the people behind the scenes, they're different to some other places, the people behind the scenes who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"But the people here are the kind of people who really want to make a success of this. There's a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes which you probably can't see and which isn't necessarily showing, but hopefully in the second half of the season it will show."

McClaren takes his side to leaders Arsenal on Saturday knowing things could get worse before they get better, but still convinced that he will turn the club around and ensure its continued presence in the top flight.

He said: "I never become a pessimist. I'm surrounded by good people, good staff. We have always said it would be difficult. The evidence says that work needs doing.

"Everyone knew that at the beginning and certainly everyone knows that halfway through. All I can say is we are prepared to do the work. We are going to stick it out and fight."

If McClaren and his players have found themselves in the firing line, so too have owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley for their stewardship of the club, although McClaren is adamant they are all pulling in the same direction.

He said: "Absolutely. They've been here longer than me. They know it better than me. They're working extra hard too."

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