Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has admitted he flouted his own ban on swearing in the wake of Saturday’s humiliation by Leicester.
McClaren confirmed there had been heated exchanges on and off the training pitches at the club’s Darsley Park headquarters this week amid a grisly post-mortem in the wake of a 3-0 home defeat which set the alarm bells ringing once again.
The former England boss prohibited the use of foul language following his arrival during the summer, but that went out of the window as a few home truths were voiced.
McClaren said: “My swearing went right out of the window. But that’s football and that’s typical. Each week is different and you have to respond differently, and last week was definitely a different response.
“It’s been a normal week after what was a very disappointing result and performance last Saturday, a bad weekend. But I would say I have had a great week on the training field.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been feisty, it’s been competitive, intense, energetic – really all the things that we were lacking last Saturday, so it’s been a good week and I hope that preparation, we take into tomorrow’s game.”
Newcastle were booed from the pitch by their own fans, who had seen them outplayed a fortnight earlier at Bournemouth, only to emerge with a 1-0 victory, and the club sits just a point above the Premier League relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
McClaren said: “We didn’t do the basics last Saturday and we just talked about doing the basics. We had done that for four games, it had collected us seven points.
“We had a setback. We are not there yet, we are going to have setbacks and we had one on Saturday. We understand the performance wasn’t up to our normal standard and we have to get back to that.”
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini bore a sizeable share of the criticism thrown at the team, but McClaren refused to single him out and insisted he would remain as his captain.
He said: “There were a lot of players last week who were disappointing.”
Midfielder Jack Colback will return to the squad after a knee injury which has sidelined him for a month and keeper Karl Darlow is also fit after an ankle problem.
However, full-back Massadio Haidara is set to be sidelined for four months as he prepares to undergo surgery to repair a damaged knee cartilage.