The 26-year-old, who was a stalwart of McClaren’s Derby side, believes the former England boss is to thank for his recent international success and is the reason he has improved massively as a player over the past two seasons.
‘’I think I came on a lot under Steve so it’s sad to see him go,’’ said Forsyth. ‘’That was the club’s decision, not mine. Steve brought on my game to a different level just by playing regular and with his coaching which helped me develop.
‘’I would say that defensively was the main area where I improved. Having played further forward before, to move back to full-back, he helped me defensively. He has a reputation for being a good defensive coach and I’d fouch for that.
‘’I’d probably say he turned me into an international player along with playing regularly in the Championship and in a good team.’’
Why should Newcastle fans be inspired by the Derby defender’s view on McClaren?
McClaren took a lanky, awkward left midfielder and turned him into a dominant full-back that is arguably one of the best in the division.
It wasn’t only Forsyth that came on under his tutelage either; Jake Buxton and John Eustace both improved their performance levels following his arrival at Derby, while Tom Ince and Darren Bent went from Premier League bench warmers to two of the best performers in the Championship.
The former England boss had his downsides in the East Midlands, which eventually saw him lose his job, but overall he showed that he is as good a coach as anyone.
If McClaren is allowed to focus purely on the coaching side, then he will potentially bring the current Newcastle players on enormously. However, he will know as much as anyone just how much pressure he will be under to get positive results from day one on Tyneside.