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Tadic: McClaren taught me to win

Published 07/08/2015

Dusan Tadic, pictured, will come up against former boss Steve McClaren this weekend
Dusan Tadic, pictured, will come up against former boss Steve McClaren this weekend

Dusan Tadic credits Steve McClaren for his "winning mentality" - an attribute the Southampton midfielder hopes will haunt the Newcastle manager this weekend.

A miserable campaign at St James' Park resulted in John Carver's exit over the summer, with former England boss McClaren brought in as replacement on a three-year deal.

McClaren has been given the task of trying to win a trophy for the first time since 1969 and securing a top-eight Premier League finish - success Tadic believes he is capable of bringing to the north-east club.

During the 54-year-old's second spell at FC Twente, he signed the Serbia international in from FC Groningen in a £5.4million deal - a fine bit of business which saw the attacking midfielder sold on to Saints for double that last summer.

"He's a great manager, a great person," Tadic said. "It was a pleasure to work with him.

"For sure he's going to make Newcastle better. It was a real pleasure to work with him.

"He really helped me. He brought me from Groningen to Twente and because of him I made the move. Not only because of him but he was the main reason.

"It was a great, great connection between us. I always said when he left Twente it was sad, but this is football."

Asked the biggest thing he learnt from McClaren, Tadic said: "A winning mentality. To take responsibility. To work hard. These kinds of things.

"We are professionals, you need to watch yourself. He's on the other side, I'm on this side (this weekend).

"I need to be focused on my things and he needs to be focused on his things."

One of the areas Tadic and his Southampton team-mates will be focused on this weekend is using possession better.

Southampton secured progress to the Europa League play-offs with a 2-0 win at Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday, taking the tie 5-0 on aggregate, but the Serbian was frustrated by their lack of fluidity with the ball.

"Vitesse were much better in possession, they were more dangerous and I think we were defending okay, but when we got the ball we need to play much better," he said.

"We are a serious team, this cannot be an excuse for us. Our performance wants to be much better with the ball and we need to play much better with it.

"We really, really need to improve that segment. It's easier to play with the ball (than without it).

"(Against Vitesse) we were defending but we give them too much of the ball and then it's difficult to play.

"We need to improve that because this is going to be important, not just for Newcastle but for all season."

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