Steve McClaren has a simple New Year message to Newcastle United’s fans: Stick with us!
The Toon boss has struggled to win over supporters after more struggles on the field.
Be patient, support us. We’re all one, we’re all part of each otherSteve McClaren
In the relegation zone going into tomorrow’s clash at leaders Arsenal, Newcastle face a long battle against relegation - with little sign that they can play their way far up the Premier League table.
But McClaren has appealed for the fans to stay with him and the players, so they can all pull in the same direction.
“Be patient, support us,” he said.
“We’re all one, we’re all part of each other.
“I’ve said it all year long, they (the fans) don’t realise the massive influence they have on this football team, or on this club, or on its future. What it can have.
“The supporters have been absolutely fantastic. We’ve tried to appreciate that win, lose or draw.
“It’s been difficult at times to do that, and understandably so, but I always say to the players: ‘What’s your audience?’
“Well it’s those 50,000 fans, or it’s them 5,000 or 6,000 fans who travel to away games.
“That’s our audience. That’s who we’re playing for – apart from each other and ourselves.
“Just to let them know that their support is very much appreciated in what has been a very difficult year for us.
“And we’re hoping that 2016 will be a lot, lot better.”
McClaren has been criticised for claiming that his side has shown a consistency of performance, despite generally failing to get results.
But he believes his players are putting in the maximum effort to turn things around.
“I think that was questioned a few weeks ago by a lot of people,” he explained.
“I think that’s why we gave an honest appraisal of that as well.
“That was addressed – and we know we’re not scoring enough goals.
“We know, you know, everybody knows, what we’re doing. We’re not scoring enough goals at the present moment.”
The Newcastle boss will, like most managers, be on the lookout during the transfer window for players who can boost the team’s goal tally.
But he will also be watching carefully as Emmanuel Riviere gets back to full-time training.
“I’ve only seen a week of him training, that’s it,” said McClaren of a player who has failed to live up to expectations.
“He’s been injured ever since so I’ve not seen him. I’ve just seen a couple of videos from last season.
“He seems a lad who give 100 per cent, total effort and at the present moment we need to help Aleksander Mitrovic.”