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McClaren still up for the fight after Newcastle suffer ´cruel´ defeat

Steve McClaren insists he is still the right man to be in charge at Newcastle United, despite Xherdan Shaqiri’s 80th-minute goal seeing his side slip to a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

The Premier League fixture looked to be heading towards a goalless draw until Switzerland international Shaqiri sent a left-footed shot beyond visiting goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

The result means Newcastle – who have now picked up just three points from their last five league fixtures – missed the chance to climb out of the relegation zone.

However, former England manager McClaren is determined to remain at the helm and help the club retain their top-flight status.

“Will I be leading the club until the end of the season? I don’t see why not,” he is quoted as saying by the Northern Echo.

“We’ve been in this position all season, and we’re there for a reason.

“We have to continue the process of getting out of that. There are 11 games to go, but as you saw tonight, the reaction of the players has been good. We’re going to need that again on Saturday.”

While he described the result as “cruel”, McLaren was quick to tell his players to forget about the loss and instead focus on Saturday’s home game against AFC Bournemouth.

“We didn’t deserve that, and again Jack Butland is a bit of a curse for us this season. And that’s the difference at the present moment,” he added.

“We came here to grind out a result and we nearly did that. I thought we were organised and very disciplined to stifle Stoke, so much so we restricted them to one shot, the goal. 

“It was a good team performance in terms of the spirit there.

“This game is cruel and it’s been cruel to us again. We dust ourselves down and go again Saturday.”

Wed 2 Mar, 2016
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