Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Time for McClaren to Show Us What He's Made of Now

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Time for McClaren to Show Us What He's Made of Now

Article excerpt

Byline: Follow us on Twitter @EveningChron John GIBSON

SO THE long wait for serious action is almost over and the lengthy gallop towards safety or suicide is about to begin. United must watch on as their relegation rivals have a free swing at picking up necessary points today, before they travel to Stoke City on Wednesday and host Bournemouth in a week.

Crucial games both, but then all the dirty dozen showdowns left for our consumption are thus.

What will it take to keep the Mags up? Well, it's not now a question about whether United have enough ability in the squad. That can no longer be influenced with the transfer deadline long gone. We have to stick with what we have good, bad or indifferent.

It's about what can still be influenced.

It's about the mental and physical approach to games.

Every single player must display a backbone of steel, they must be willing to run and work until blood turns to water. They must play for one another not themselves.

Within that team structure there is a need for discipline over the full 90 minutes plus, to stay alert and not switch off because punishment will almost certainly follow.

All must play to the tactical system and not go walkabout deserting their post (are you listening Colo?) In short, players must care enough to bond and do the tough miles.

However, on top of that Steve McClaren MUST do his job properly. So much is down to him.

Getting team selection right, adopting the correct tactics game to game to give United the best chance of success, and being Mr Motivator.

He is the single most important individual who can influence what happens over the next 12 matches.

Is he better, more wily and astute, than Sam Allardyce and the managers of Swansea, Norwich, Aston Villa, and Bournemouth? All right, Villa have probably gone, but McClaren has to out-think at least two other managers.

He must prove his pedigree is not false. He has to show he's not the Wally With The Brolly as so cruelly suggested with England. Show us why he was Fergie's head coach, why the FA gave him the England job in the first place, why he won the Dutch title with Twente. …

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