Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren says creating conflict was key to his side’s revival in the Premier League.
McClaren’s men beat Liverpool and Tottenham in their last two matches to move up to 15th in the table and Newcastle have a chance to continue that run when they welcome bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa to St James’ Park on Saturday.
The former England boss feels dressing-room conflict helped to fire up his players after their sub-standard start to the season.
“Sometimes you have to create a bit of conflict and there was a bit of conflict,” said McClaren.
“The key thing was we were consistent in our messages. When we win, when we lose or draw, we analyse it and review it.
“We say what we do right and what we do wrong. We try to put it right for the next game. The process was just the same but probably a bit more vocal than normal.”
Despite Villa’s detached position at the bottom of the table, McClaren urged his team not to take Remi Garde’s men lightly.
He continued: “We are thinking of the next game and Aston Villa. It is an opportunity and a challenge, one that we will probably get three or four times over the season, this is an opportunity to kick on.
“Can we take it? Are we ready to do it? Are we ready to win three games in the Premier League in a row, which is a huge, huge ask for any team?
“Believe you me, I have watched Villa in three or four games now and they have got very good players. How they are only on six points, I don’t know, but I have seen them play very, very well.
“We are sixth in the form guide over the last eight games. Consistency is key and getting consistent performance is a platform.
“The key is us and the crowd. The key word on Saturday for everybody is patience.”