McClaren – Players Beginning To Understand What I Want

There was a good interview yesterday with Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren, as he talked about the game on Tuesday night, but more importantly about the way the Newcastle players are slowly but surely understanding the new way he wants the team to play with good possession football and quick passing.

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Steve McClaren – players starting to understand

This is what Steve said, talking initially about the 2-1 loss to Club Atlas:

“I didn’t think in the first-half we were very good without the ball. I thought they were very aggressive.¨ 

“They won duels, they won more tackles than us, they broke the play more than u,s and at half-time we said: ‘Look after yourselves but, hey, you have to compete.”

“Once they did that in the second-half there was only one team in it.¨ “I was disappointed with the goals, disappointed – we need to be a better team without the ball.”

“We were in the second-half; we pushed on and pressed more compact, better shape, and dominated the game from the on.”

“There were signs that the players are taking on board what the coaches are asking them to do which is encouraging. They were brave and encouraged to play.¨ 

“As I say, we need to improve without the ball and be a better team. We did in the second-half and we need to continue that.”

Newcastle play Sacramento Republic in their third pre-season friendly tomorrow night at Bonney Field, and they are not an MLS club.

They were formed three years ago and play in a lower league – the United Soccer League (USL), and we may even see Georginio Wijnaldum make his first appearance for Newcastle.

The Dutchman certainly looked good in training yesterday, as he scored this great goal.

We could see how well he links up with former Dutchman Siem de Jong, who is also a class player and fit again after the trials and tribulations he had last season with various injuries.

Comments welcome.