McClaren aims for Newcastle consistency

McClaren hopes Newcastle's fortunes turn around. Credit: PA

Steve McClaren is convinced Newcastle can prosper in the Barclays Premier League providing they keep 11 men on the pitch.

The Magpies have been reduced to 10 players three times in their opening 10 games of the league campaign and lost on each occasion.

Swansea, Arsenal and Sunderland have made the most of the premature departures of Daryl Janmaat, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Fabricio Coloccini respectively.

Coloccini successfully appealed against the red card he was shown at the Stadium of Light last weekend, although that simply served to strengthen the sense of injustice following a 3-0 defeat in a game which Newcastle were dominating before referee Robert Madley intervened.

Manager McClaren, whose side face Stoke at St James' Park on Saturday, said: "If we play like that and keep 11 players on the pitch, we will win eight or nine out of 10 games. You can see the progress. Some of our football was fantastic and that's progress.

"You don't have to be rocket scientists and experts in football to know that we dominated that game. We felt a lot of injustice against us.

"But you can't feel sorry for yourselves and you have to get back to work. We have done that, I think the fans have moved on quickly and what we have got to do is keep reproducing those performances week in, week out.

"We have shown what we are capable of doing and at times, our football was excellent. We created chances, which we weren't doing earlier in the season, so when I look in the long term, keep 11 players on the park and I can see this team winning games.

"In the short term, we'd like to start winning tomorrow."

McClaren, who will be without midfielder Jack Colback for up to six weeks with a knee injury suffered against the Black Cats, had asked to be judged 10 games into his reign, but admits an eventful few months have rather hampered progress.

He said: "It's been a roller coaster 10 games in every aspect. In three of those games, we have played with 10 men for well over 45 minutes. There have been injustices in some and then other performances, we have performed well, so we have been very up and down, very inconsistent.

"The last two games in terms of performance, we have been kind of consistent, and that's what we need going forward."