Steve McClaren was involved in a heated exchange with a journalist on Friday as the under-fire Newcastle United manager lost his cool.
With McClaren reportedly fighting to keep his job, the former England boss launched an attack on Craig Hope at his televised pre-match news conference, accusing the reporter of having a negative agenda towards the club.
Speaking in front of TV cameras, an embattled McClaren – whose Newcastle team are second from bottom in the Premier League after six consecutive defeats away from home – responded angrily when questioned over his future at St James’ Park.
“I’ve heard there have been one or two articles – probably one main article – and as I say, I don’t read it,” he said ahead of Saturday’s visit of AFC Bournemouth.
“It doesn’t help me win football matches and my concentration and focus are purely on Bournemouth and winning that game.
“Someone told me about it, and unfortunately it’s done, obviously, by a journalist who for the last 18 months has written nothing but negative things about Newcastle, a journalist who used to work at this football club and who four or five years ago [six], was released from this club.
“Whatever that journalist writes, I’m afraid I don’t read it.”
Hope confronted McClaren once his TV commitments were concluded, hitting back at the 54-year-old.
The reporter said: “Steve, don’t you dare accuse me of having an agenda. You are second bottom of the league. This is a new one, Steve. Is this your latest excuse, is it? It’s a new one, I’ll give you that.
“I’m not the problem, Steve. You’re the problem, not me. You’re the problem, not me. Don’t you dare suggest I’ve got an agenda against you.
“Walk away Steve, smile and grin again. [Turning towards colleagues] He has been out of his depth since the minute he walked in.”
Hope penned a detailed list of events in the Daily Mail afterwards, revealing McClaren later apologised following face-to-face talks.
The Tyneside-based journalist added: “McClaren can prove me wrong by going on a winning run and keeping his job.
“But as things stand, Newcastle cannot continue like this. McClaren cannot continue like this.”
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