Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley has indicated Steve McClaren’s job is not under any immediate threat by stating the club’s board will not make any “rash decisions” despite their appalling start to the season.
The Magpies have taken just two points from their opening six Premier League games and also suffered a humiliating League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, even though the Championship side made 10 changes for the trip to St James’ Park.
The mood on Tyneside is vastly different now compared to the start of the season when supporters were filled with optimism following the close-season arrival of manager McClaren and the high-profile signings of Georginio Wijnaldum, Florian Thauvin, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The loss to Wednesday saw the home fans turn on McClaren and the players, prompting Charnley to write an open letter on the club’s website.
“There is no hiding from the fact that this has been a very disappointing start to our Premier League campaign, and a painful early exit from a cup competition that we were determined to give everything in this year. We apologise to you for this,” he wrote.
“After six league games the truth is we have not achieved the points that any of us had hoped and expected we would do.
“None of us can, or will, shirk the responsibility for this situation. Now is the time for collective action, and for us to find solutions to the problems rather than allow ourselves to be consumed by them.
“It is important to state that we bear collective responsibility for our position in the table. Identifying the problems in order to find the solutions is crucial, but we are not in the business of apportioning blame. We are a team, from the boardroom to the boot room, and we will respond like one.
“So we have sat down as a collective – myself with Steve and his coaching team, and Steve with his players – to discuss the concerns and to look for the solutions together.
“Whilst we are all unhappy, we must not panic or make rash decisions. We should not forget we are still relatively early into the season with lots of games to go and points to play for. Whilst you may be tired of hearing this, I believe, as we have said from the start, all of this rebuilding and reshaping isn’t something that can happen overnight; it will take time to see the benefit of the changes we made during the summer.”
Newcastle host Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday and Charnley called for the supporters to get behind the team.
He added: “We regularly talk about the importance of confidence and the momentum that a single victory can bear in turning around the fortunes of a team. To turn things around our players need to be brave – brave on the ball, demand the ball, and attack with courage and conviction, without fear.
“I hope those of you attending on Saturday, and at future games, home or away, will really get behind the team and help give them the confidence to play and express themselves the way we know they can.
“We don’t have the time nor the inclination to feel sorry for ourselves. That would not serve us well. We are all in this together and we will get out of it together as a team. We view you, our supporters, as an important part of that team. Now is the time to show determination, resilience and fight and together, over the coming weeks, change the course of this season for the better.”
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