Stoke v Newcastle: Steve McClaren hits out at players’ ‘character flaws’

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren
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Steve McClaren has questioned the “character” of his relegation-threatened Newcastle United side ahead of their trip to Stoke City tonight.

McClaren’s team, beated 5-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their last game, have struggled away from home all season

And United’s under-fire head coach talked about a “character flaw” in his side ahead of the match.

“We are losing games away from home, and some games we are losing badly, and that is not good enough,” said McClaren.

“The team has shown great performances, and shown their talents, so I think that (character) has been questioned a lot.

“Talent is not enough. You have to perform consistently, individually and collectively. You have to have certain characteristics – being hard to beat, solid, doing the work, be disciplined, do the small things.

“And we seem to have a setback and not recover from that setback very quickly, which can be followed by another setback and then another one, which is why the same team can win 1-0 and then the next week lose 5-1 at Chelsea.

“Everybody at the club, the players included, but especially myself, the staff, the fans, see fantastic performances from individuals one week.

“You think ‘that’s what they can do’ and the next week, it’s the polar opposite and we go from looking as if we can beat the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea on our day and then lose by five or six goals the next week.

“That is inconsistent and that is a character flaw which we have got to come to terms with and put right.”