Georginio Wijnaldum accepts Newcastle’s attitude must change and says he is willing to play deeper, despite preferring a more advanced role.
The Magpies have endured a wretched start to the Premier League season having failed to win any of their opening six games and Steve McClaren’s misery was compounded in midweek when much-changed Sheffield Wednesday knocked his side out of the Capital One Cup.
With Chelsea, Manchester City and derby rivals Sunderland coming up in their next three fixtures, £14.5million signing Wijnaldum agrees with Tim Krul’s assertion that the players need to show they are “real men”.
When asked what needs to change, Wijnaldum replied: “I think the attitude – we must stay positive because if we don’t stay positive it is going to go wrong but we need men now out on the field (right now).
“Players must want to work hard and give everything to get a good result.
“On top of that I think we must play free.
“Sometimes I have the idea that we play with a lot of pressure on us because the results are not going well but we must play free because then it is going to get better.
“I’m going to stay positive and I hope the rest of the team is going to stay positive also.
“Besides we must work hard and go on and, as I say, play free.”
McClaren used Wijnaldum in a deeper midfield role in the second half of the defeat against Watford and the whole 90 minutes against Wednesday. The Dutchman admits he would rather be utilised “a little bit higher” but he is willing to do whatever job is asked of him.
Wijnaldum said: “In this kind of situation it is not about me, it is about the team and what the trainer asks of me.
“That is what I will do.
“We must perform as a team and do things as a team.
“I played controlled-midfielder, I prefer to play a little bit higher.
“But if the team needs a controller and someone who can make dribbles then that is what I can do.”