Charlie Nicholas has advice for Newcastle boss Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren

Newcastle United need to work on their defence, says Charlie Nicholas.

Former Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas said on the Gillette Soccer Saturday show on Sky Sports News HQ on Saturday afternoon that Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren needs to sort out his defence.

The former Celtic and Scotland international made the comments following the Magpies’ 6-1 defeat to Manchester City away from home in the Premier League.

Despite taking an early lead at the Etihad Stadium, Newcastle failed to pick up even a point, conceding as many as five goals in the second half.

It was a spectacular collapse from McClaren’s side, and Nicholas has said that the Newcastle boss needs to work on his back four and goalkeeper Tim Krul.

"There was some bright stuff but there's so many mistakes - bad defensive mistakes,” said Nicholas on the Gillette Soccer Saturday show on Sky Sports News HQ on Saturday afternoon. “There was some good finishing. City got out of a mess.

"Of course you should be despondent if you're a NUFC fan. Going forward they were alright but I'm sorry, you need to change this defence.

“As soon as questions are asked it happens. This defence is not right. He needs to change it. Even the goalkeeper, who has been relied on. He's spilling everything.”

It is simple advice from Nicholas, but can Newcastle sort out their defence? The Magpies have conceded 17 goals in eight Premier League matches - that’s more than two per game on average.

Although six of those goals were conceded in one match against arguably the best team in the Premier League, there is no doubt that head coach McClaren needs to make his team tighter at the back.

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