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Steve McClaren wants Newcastle players to set benchmark


Head coach Steve McClaren has challenged Newcastle to maintain their standards

Head coach Steve McClaren has challenged Newcastle to maintain their standards

Head coach Steve McClaren has challenged Newcastle to maintain their standards

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has urged his players to set their performance in victory over Liverpool as the benchmark for the remainder of the season.

The Magpies turned in a committed display to beat Jurgen Klopp's in-form side 2-0 in thrilling style last Sunday, and McClaren wants to see more of the same when they run out at Tottenham this weekend and beyond.

He said: "We have told them that on several occasions. They know it, everybody knows it - if they read a newspaper, they would be reminded every day that that's the standard, and that's over the years and that's over the weeks and that's over the last few years.

"Constant messages, the right things, the right messages and hope you get that performance and that luck on game day.

"It's not rocket science. We do keep saying that and that's right, which is why football and sport is so frustrating, not just being a manager, not just being a coach, but also being a fan, because you do look and say, 'Well, why can't you repeat that?'. That's football and that's sport.

"It's an unanswerable question, 'Why can't you keep reproducing that?'. It's funny because when you play any sport, you're against an opponent and sometimes that opponent has something to do with it, sometimes decisions and sometimes it's your own fault.

"It's a combination of things. Week in, week out, you never know, you are just trying to get consistency, and that's what we need now."

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McClaren has been convinced on more than once occasion that his team have turned a corner, only to slump once again, and he is determined that this peak will not be followed by another trough.

He said: "Honestly, from the beginning of the season coming through the door, the players have been absolutely fantastic on the training field. Their attitude has been great.

"They want to work, they want to play, they want to play with that exuberance and freedom - they have had that every week.

"They have been knocked back quite a few times, but they keep coming back out there and again producing in training what we want on game day. We just want a steely focus, really, for Sunday."

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