Steve McClaren and the Newcastle team have put up with a very tough pre-season, and the tour over here of the US made things a lot more difficult.
That was because of all the traveling involved, the extreme heat which the players are not used to, and then the jet lag when the players both arrive in the US and then arrive back in Newcastle.
That all helps to debilitate the players, the coaches and the journalists accompanying them on the tour, so it may look glamorous on paper, but it’s a real grind.
Steve McClaren, Ian Cathro and MacBook today
Newcastle will learn that it’s not a good idea to play a game on an artificial surface too, with many players unable to play in Portland, and so we effectively played a second eleven on the last game of the tour.
We suppose one of the problems Lee Charnley had when arranging the fixtures was there was no real input from the coach on the schedule, because at the time we didn’t have a permanent head coach – only the inexperienced John Carver in charge of the side.
As well as the schedule, Steve seems frustrated because we had some good build up play today, but when we got into that final third we were not sharp enough, although we hit the woodwork twice and went close a couple of other times.
Newcastle were narrowly beaten 1-0 by a good Borussia Monchengladbach side who have qualified for the group stages of this season’s Champions League.
This is what Steve McClaren said after the game:
“I suppose all clubs will be thinking that they could do with a bit more work.” “We lost a week, two weeks ago with travelling in the States and playing a game on AstroTurf.”
“We are trying to get that back and recover from the travel. I am delighted where the players are considering that schedule.” “Do we need to do more? Lots more.”
“We have to be patient.” “It’s a word I don’t like but you can’t force things but I am pleased with the development with the team have made.”
“I have been frustrated all pre-season because our play has been good and we have built up well, but our final ball and our final finish hasn’t been there. You expect that will come with more work and as the season goes on.”
“I was pleased in terms of controlling the game because generally when we have played other games it has been end to end and a bit open. It was more tactical and more cat and mouse today.”
“I thought it was the best we’ve done pre-season.”
We thought the lads played quite well today considering where we are with two new players just coming into the side.
The defense was OK, but it was another simple mistake that gave the goal away – and that’s been our Achilles heel for three years now – so we should fix it quickly by bringing in another top center-back.