Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McClaren Admits to Nerves as United Toil; McClaren Admits to Nerves

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McClaren Admits to Nerves as United Toil; McClaren Admits to Nerves

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh @CHRISDHWAUGH

STEVE McClaren admits he is "paddling like mad" underneath his calm exterior as a result of Newcastle United's perilous Premier League position, but he remains optimistic that 2016 will not be a repeat of a woeful 2015.

The Magpies will begin the year in the relegation zone after the 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on Monday left them thirdbottom of the table.

United picked up just seven league wins in 2015 and, though he has spoken positively about his firm belief that the Magpies will pull away from the drop zone, for the first time McClaren admitted to being nervous on the inside.

Having originally said that he was not concerned about Newcastle being in the bottom three at the halfway point of the season, McClaren then accepted that he shared supporters' understandable fears.

"Believe me, under the surface, I am paddling like mad," the United head coach said.

"But we have a little bit more information than everyone else. We know what we have got and what we are trying to do.

"We feel as if we are getting there after a tough start. That is the first half of the season gone. 2015 is about to end - good! We cannot wait for the next year.

"It has not been a good year. We cannot wait for it to end. Let us get on with the next year and the second half of the season."

Seeing the back of 2015 is something McClaren continuously reiterated he was looking forward to.

However, he did accept that the Turn to Page 45 FROM BACK PAGE 'little improvement' United have made under his management so far is not yet good enough.

"Absolutely. It has not been good enough and that is why we are in the bottom three," he added. "That is where we are realistic and we need to do something about it. And we will do. There are 19 games to go.

"You try to make sure with 10 games to go, you are in a good position and with five to go you are in an even better position. Before that we have a lot of work to do. …

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