Steve McClaren is running out of patience with some of the biggest names at Newcastle United – including captain Fabricio Coloccini, writes Miles Starforth.
McClaren laid into his players early this week in an inquest into the woeful Premier League home defeat to Leicester City last weekend.
And the club’s head coach has demanded a reaction against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tomorrow.
McClaren was furious at the team’s abject performance against Leicester, and few were spared by McClaren, who, up to now, has refused to criticise his players in public.
However, the manner of the team’s latest defeat so infuriated McClaren, and he took them to task in private in an attempt to provoke a response on the training field.
And Coloccini, significantly, did not escape criticism from McClaren and his coaching staff.
The long-serving defender, badly at fault for Leicester’s first goal, is yet to start repaying McClaren for the faith he showed in him in the summer.
Coloccini was handed a new deal the eve of the new campaign despite missing the club’s entire pre-season fixture programme through an injury which hadn’t stopped him training.
McClaren – whose side has lacked leadership this season – also kept Coloccini as captain.
With Cheick Tiote sidelined through injury, McClaren will make at least one change at Selhurst Park, where he is looking for a dramatic improvement from his team, which is one point clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko is another player who has struggled for form this season.
But McClaren is not expected to drop either Coloccini or Sissoko for the Palace game, which is followed by a tough home fixture against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on December 6.