Steve McClaren has neither sought nor received assurances about his future at Newcastle – and admits he needs good results soon to save their season spiralling out of control.
The Magpies head into Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool, who thrashed Southampton 6-1 in the Capital One Cup on the south coast on Wednesday evening, knowing the chorus of disapproval on Tyneside will reach full volume if they cannot halt an alarming slide at St James’ Park.
But asked if he had looked for guarantees from his employers in the wake of last week’s 5-1 humbling at Crystal Palace, which saw Newcastle slip back into the relegation zone, McClaren said: “I wouldn’t ask for that and I wouldn’t expect to receive that.
“I think that’s demonstrated by what we do during the week and what we do on a Saturday or Sunday and that’s why it’s important.”
That said, McClaren is fully aware that he will live or die by his results and at the moment, they are simply not good enough.
His reign currently extends to just 16 games, two of them in the Capital one Cup, but only three – two of them in the league – have resulted in victory, and that has prompted bookmakers’ to install the 54-year-old as favourite to be the next top-flight boss to lose his job.
McClaren said: “It’s football. It’s football, so you never know. You go into every job knowing the impatience of football, and you need results. We know what the situation is and it’s game to game and we’re fighting for the next result.
“Will we be given time? We need to get results to keep that going, we know that, but like everything, we do the right things every day, we do the work and we try and give the players the confidence they need on a Saturday, Sunday, whenever, to win games.”
McClaren has not spoken to owner Mike Ashley this week and he described his meeting with managing director Lee Charnley as “routine”.
His watchword as he met the media on Thursday afternoon was “confidence”, and restoring that within a shell-shocked squad is his most immediate concern.
He said: “In the cold light of day, five wins in a year doesn’t bode well for confidence and belief, and that’s one of the things we have to turn around. Many people say that the players don’t care or don’t try, but it really is as simple as confidence.”