McClaren explains why he played patched up defence in Newcastle defeat

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has explained why he played a makeshift back four in the club's defeat against Portland.

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has been quoted by the Shields Gazette explaining why he took a risk with the club’s defence in their latest pre-season friendly game.

Newcastle fell to a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Portland Timbers earlier this morning, with McClaren using a patched up defence, which saw the Magpies fall 4-1 behind at one point during the game before fighting back to secure a more respectable score line.

“We had six of seven who couldn’t play on this surface, and quite a few played who we only wanted to have a small amount of time (on the pitch) because of troubles they get,” McClaren is quoted by the Shields Gazette.

“In that respect, the key thing was that everyone came through safely and no injuries. We’ve more or less done that.”

Common sense from the manager

McClaren does deserve credit for bearing in mind the bigger picture and showing some common sense with regards to the situation.

Had he gone with a stronger side and someone had picked up an injury with just over two weeks to go until the return of the Premier League, he could have been slaughtered as a result.

However, he had to balance that risk out against the need to try and get a positive result in the bank as he looks to breed a positive mentality over the next few weeks, which can have a positive effect in terms of belief and confidence.

Three more games

Newcastle still have three more friendly games to play before the start of the new Premier League season, with matches against Sheffield United, York City and Borussia Monchengladbach all representing chances for key defenders to find form.

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