McClaren hails players for ‘fabulous’ half-time talk

Date published: Sunday 13th December 2015 7:50

Steve McClaren: Delighted with Newcastle United players at half-time

Steve McClaren attributed Newcastle United’s come-from-behind win at Tottenham on Sunday to a “fabulous” half-time chat generated by the players.

Aleksandar Mitrovic came off the bench to cancel out Eric Dier’s first-half opener before his fellow substitute Ayoze Perez netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner as the Magpies moved two points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

McClaren, whose team also defeated Liverpool last weekend, said: “I thought the players were fantastic today. It’s answered the critics we have had over last four weeks and it was a great performance in the second half and a great result.

“We have asked for consistency and the last two weeks they have provided that and it has brought everyone closer together.

“We kind of lost something in the international break and it’s taken us two weeks to get that.”

Newcastle United celebration

Newcastle conceded five minutes before half-time and the 54-year-old manager said his dressing room at the break was so loud with the players rallying around each other that it made him proud as he could hardly get a word in.

“There have been so many times when I have gone in at half-time and the dressing room has been silent,” he said.

“I was angry at the goal, but the players were fabulous at half-time.

“It was so vocal, such a determination in the players not to go down the same path as they usually do.

“They took it on board, we haven’t had back-to-back wins for over a year and to do it was immense.

“You can talk and talk but to see them do it on the pitch is great.”

While the Magpies are now three places above the relegation zone, McClaren is well aware that there is a lot more to do in order for the side to stay up.

“In football you are only one week from going back down and we have to make sure we don’t do that,” he said.

“There is still a long way to go and it’s a very important game next week against [Aston] Villa.”

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