Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren has told The Chronicle that his players struggled with fatigue in the final 30 minutes of the Premier League game against Southampton at home at the weekend.
The Magpies kicked off their new season with a 2-2 draw with the Saints at St. James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.
McClaren’s side would have won the contest had Shane Long not scored the second goal for visiting Southampton in the 79th minute.
Reflecting on the match, the Englishman admitted to The Chronicle that his players did not play smartly after 70 minutes.
“For 70 minutes the team were excellent then we didn’t play smart after that,” the former Derby County and Nottingham Forest manager told The Chronicle. “I think fatigue had a lot to do with that. We gave the ball away and gave them opportunities to win it.”
Should Newcastle United fans be worried?
McClaren was quite honest in accepting that his Newcastle team struggled in the final 30 minutes of the encounter against Southampton.
That is quite understandable. After all, this was the Magpies’ first competitive game of the season and it takes time for the players to settle in.
While Newcastle fans should not be overly worried, they should be concerned why the team failed to retain a 2-1 lead heading into the final minutes of the match.
Winning against Southampton even at home is not easy, but Sunday’s final result was a case of two points lost rather than a point gained for Newcastle.