Belfast Telegraph

Pressure intensifies on Steve McClaren after Newcastle lose to Bournemouth

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is facing a desperate fight to hang on to his job after a deeply damaging 3-1 home defeat by Bournemouth.

McClaren headed into the game having become involved in an angry exchange with a journalist during his Friday press conference and received the backing of his players in a public statement.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how his afternoon at St James' Park went.


McClaren sprang something of a surprise when he handed French striker Emmanuel Riviere a first start of the season in a game he could not afford to lose. Riviere, who had just one Premier League goal to his name before kick-off, replaced misfiring summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic while Ayoze Perez came in for Yoan Gouffran.


Whatever they were, they didn't work. Newcastle saw too little of the ball for most of the game to implement their manager's plan, and were so lethargic in attack for long periods that the Cherries were able to defend in some comfort. The Magpies' efforts to press the ball out of possession were disjointed, allowing the visitors time and space to do what they wanted with it.


McClaren's hand was forced by an early injury to full-back Paul Dummett, which prompted him to push Jack Colback to left-back and introduce Vurnon Anita to his midfield. He sent on Mitrovic in place of Riviere at the break and winger Rolando Aarons for Moussa Sissoko with 21 minutes remaining, both in an effort to increase his side's firepower, but to little effect.


The former England boss cut a frustrated figure inside his technical area, alternating between hands in pockets and hands on head as he watched his team struggle to impose themselves. He barked instructions and encouragement and gesticulated animatedly, but largely without reward.


Ugly, to say the least. From the moment in the 12th minute the home fans exhorted their side to "Attack, attack, attack", the atmosphere was febrile, and the criticism escalated to "You don't know what you're doing", "You're getting sacked in the morning", "We're s*** and we're sick of it", "He's taking us down, he's taking us down, Steve McClaren, he's taking us down" before a deafening chorus of boos on the final whistle. One fan expressed his discontent by hurling his season ticket on to the roof of the dug-out as he walked out long before the final whistle.


From Belfast Telegraph