Newcastle United beat Bournemouth 1-0 in their most recent fixture.
The Magpies went into the break 1-0 up against Bournemouth last Saturday, but they had been outplayed for large periods of the first-half.
And McClaren told his squad that they would have to be prepared to withstand the barrage, if they were to get the three points.
“I said at half-time we need character, fight and grit to win here and to keep a clean sheet – and that’s what we had,” McClaren said.
Newcastle managed to squeeze past Bournemouth thanks to Ayoze Perez’s strike.
The Magpies had been camped in their own half for much of the first 45 minutes, but Perez scored their only shot on target in the entirety of the match to secure the three points.
Bournemouth would have felt hard done by at full-time, but Newcastle may believe that they deserve some luck.
McClaren’s side have been the dominant force in their last two matches, but only claimed one point, and this performance showed a different side to their game – which could be equally important, as they look to battle against relegation.