Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Deal Is Great Result!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Deal Is Great Result!

Article excerpt

But now it's up to Mac to produce

Well done Steve McClaren for earning a four-year contract extension.

He deserves a new deal on what he has achieved here, with the Carling Cup win and two years in Europe in a row.

But I'm sure that Mac knows that signing the new contract does not mean he can sit back on his laurels. In fact this is a crucial season for the manager, just as it is for the club.

Expectations are rising all the time and, as far as the public are concerned, we need to win something this season.

They are used to seeing the club trying to move forward all the time, and if we don't win something, then it will be a season of failure in the eyes of many fans.

McClaren is well aware of the expectations. That's one reason why he has been treating the Carling Cup with great respect this season.

He's shown that he is determined to play a strong side in the early rounds.

So I expect him to leave no stone unturned to try to beat Crystal Palace next week and put us in the last eight.

If we get to the quarter-finals and have reasonable luck in the draw, we will have as good a chance as anybody of going all the way again.

But we can't just look at the Carling Cup. We have to keep moving forward in all the competitions.

A point in Holland tonight will put us in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, while if we beat West Brom we will probably be back in the top half of the Premiership.

That's somewhere we need to be.

The one thing that McClaren signing his new deal has given us is stability, and hopefully the players will respond by bringing in the right results.

Unfortunately, one thing I suspect is that the whole of Teesside will not be fully behind the manager signing a new contract.

There are callers to the Legends programme who are not too happy with the overall situation.

But the manager has been given the opportunity to get on with the job and good luck to him. Now it's up to him to produce.

McClaren is well aware that the league position must be improved and that's why he was stressing that the Fulham and West Brom games at the Riverside were must-win games.

We are half way there already after Sunday's win, though we made hard work of it by starting poorly again against Fulham. …

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