Why Steve McClaren is right to avoid Newcastle job at this stage

Steve McClaren

With uncertainty engulfing Tyneside, now is not the right time for the Derby County boss to make the switch.

Steve McClaren has reportedly turned down the chance to manage Newcastle United for their final three league games, per the BBC.

The revelation that McClaren would spurn such an opportunity has not surprised anybody, given the position that the North East club currently finds themselves in.

The approach by The Toon echoes that of 2009, when hometown hero Alan Shearer took over a disjointed squad with eight games left, ultimately failing to keep his beloved club in the top flight.

This time, however, Newcastle will not get to chance their arm with a change of management during such a crucial period. The club has publicly backed current coach John Carver in the wake of the decision.

McClaren has endured a poor end to the season at his current club Derby County, failing to guide The Rams to the play-offs despite promising signs of a promotion push earlier in the year.

The former England boss has worked hard to repair a reputation damaged by his stint in charge of the national team and risking that for an uncertain future on Tyneside would be a bold decision.

The 54-year-old took a similar approach to another Toon legend, Sir Bobby Robson, when the latter left the England job, finding success abroad before returning to familiar shores.

Regardless of Premier League status, it’s clear that Newcastle need a fresh face in the dugout next season and an approach in the summer would be better suited for both parties.

This has been a damning season for The Toon who, despite a hefty bank balance, are perilously close to the drop on the back of an eighth successive defeat.

Recruitment will be top of the priority list for any incoming manager, with the current structure of director Lee Charnley and head scout Graham Carr getting the final say on who comes in to St. James' Park.

McClaren has been known to require input on which players are targeted and should he be tempted with an offer, the Fulford man will be in a better position to have his demands met by a Newcastle board who have learnt harsh lessons on the back of this campaign.

For Newcastle, there were ‘clear the air’ talks at the club's Benton base on Monday morning for both staff and players, and the focus is now solely on Saturday’s must-win game at home to West Bromwich Albion.

It is crucial that Newcastle stay in the Premier League, with the gap between the top-flight and the Championship growing ever wider.

The task of hauling The Toon back into England’s elite at the first time of asking would be a far more monumental challenge than picking up the pieces of a dreadful, but not fatal season; even one that Steve McClaren may not fancy.

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