Our season begins now, says Newcastle boss Steve McClaren

The Magpies have had a torrid start to the campaign but face easier fixtures, on paper, after the international break.

Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren wants his team to view the return after the international break as the beginning of their season after a disappointing start.

The Magpies were dealt a bad hand in the fixture scheduling this campaign and faced last season’s top four in their first eight games – picking up just three points in the process.

The trouble for McClaren is that everyone else's season began eight games ago and his side now face an uphill battle to turn things around.

Newcastle are currently rooted to the bottom of the table and a good run of results from their upcoming ‘winnable’ fixtures is a must.

“We have played a lot of top teams. Our season now has to begin,” said McClaren, in quotes published by the Chronicle.

“We have to take encouragement from whatever we can. We have had a tough eight games, but I have seen enough in the last two weeks that we can win football matches.

“We were unlucky last week and this week… there is enough in there, we just need consistency.”

Newcastle face Norwich (h), Sunderland (a), Stoke (h), Bournemouth (a), Leicester (h) and Crystal Palace (a) in their next six games and will need to start putting points on the board.

Given how competitive the Premier League has now become, none of those games look particularly easy and should Newcastle fail to come out the other end with a suitable return, the skies will begin to darken over Tyneside.

McClaren is correct in his view that there has been cause for optimism in the Magpies’ last two outings, but whether or not his team can reproduce the same type of intensity against the league’s so-called lesser sides remains to be seen.

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