Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren believes the club are not “bonkers” but admits a move to Tyneside can be a culture shock to some players.
McClaren and Co. are sitting in the Premier League relegation zone after 15 games, adrift of safety on goal difference ahead of their trip to Tottenham on Sunday.
Some of Newcastle’s off-season signings have struggled to adapt to football at St James’ Park this season, with Aleksandar Mitrovic left on the bench for the club’s last two Premier League fixtures.
But McClaren has come to their defence and admitted it is not easy for some players to settle in quickly.
When asked if allowances had to be made for players arriving at a “bonkers” club, McClaren replied: “That’s a bit harsh! You don’t work inside it, and it’s not so bonkers inside. It looks it, though, doesn’t it from the outside?
“A lot of players have been here longer than I have, a lot of them. We only introduced five, I think, and we always said that it would take time for them to adapt.
“And in terms of the job and adapting and blah, blah, blah, it can take the first half of a season to do that. I fully expect us to be stronger in the second half than we are in the first half.
“It’s not an easy football club, as you and we all know, but that’s the situation that we’re in. I think the players know that and I think those new ones are coming in and adapting to that. I think it can be a culture shock to them.”