Steve McClaren will once again take a leaf from Louis van Gaal’s book as he attempts to drag Newcastle out of a fast-developing crisis.
The Magpies slipped to their fourth successive defeat in midweek when they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup, effectively by Sheffield Wednesday’s reserves, to mark a new low in their head coach’s fledgling career on Tyneside.
In the aftermath of a dismal night at St James’ Park, managing director Lee Charnley – the man who appointed McClaren during the summer – backed him in an e-mail to disgruntled fans, and the former England boss insists he will not be swayed from a philosophy he believes will bring lasting success.
The 54-year-old, who will send his team out against Chelsea on Saturday evening, said: “You can’t rush the process. We’d like to, but you can’t do that.
“I’m a big admirer of Louis van Gaal. I’ve followed him into Holland, I’ve followed him into Germany and now into the Premier League.
“I remember in Holland, AZ (Alkmaar), I joined Twente and he was getting a lot of stick at the beginning of the season because they had had a bad season the previous one and the first two games, three games, he lost and they said, ‘If he doesn’t win the next game, he’s going to be sacked’. He won the next game, stuck by his philosophy and went on a 22-game run, won the league.
“He went to Germany, where I followed him at Wolfsburg, and the previous season – I watched it – Bayern Munich, exactly the same, struggled, change in philosophy, change in the German way of playing to a more possession-based.
“I remember in November, I went to Juventus and I was reading, ‘If they lose in Juventus, he’ll get the sack’. They won 4-1, they never lost another game and won the German League, and I have seen him come into the Premier League last season and say at the very beginning he would get it right, his philosophy.
“It takes time and you have got a philosophy. We have one here and we are sticking to it, and we know if we do the process right and we go through painful times, which we have to, when it gets right it will be very good.”
Charnley’s support may have been welcome following the tide of criticism which has engulfed the club in recent days, but McClaren insisted he made it clear from day one that the changes he was employed to make would take time to implement.
He said: “We talk a lot. The first day I joined here, I always go into a football club and ask, ‘What do you want?’, and they said they wanted change, they wanted to change everything in terms of the culture, the style of play, the development of players, how they want the club run.
“I stated, ‘Okay, that’s what we will bring’. But I said. ‘It won’t be easy, it won’t happen in three months, I’ll tell you that’. I’ve had experience before and I’ve seen other people, like Van Gaal, who have had that experience.
“You have to stick to your philosophy, and that’s what we are doing.”