His side take on West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
The Magpies are currently 18th in the table and two points from safety, with the 3-0 defeat to Everton in midweek having seen them come in for stern criticism once again.
That loss was their second in succession and they have only having managed one win in their last eight games, a 2-1 win over West Ham United.
With 14 games remaining though, there is still plenty of time to escape and McClaren has highlighted the four key characteristics they will need to do it.
“The players know the urgency of the situation. We know it’s a relegation fight, we’ve been there all year,” the Daily Mail reports him saying.
“The talent is there but talent isn’t enough. You need fight, courage, attitude and character. The biggest thing is holding our nerve.”
“I look at the squad and it is stronger now [than before January]. But we’ve been in bottom three all season and we’re kind of used to it.”
If there was any time for the Newcastle squad to show those four characteristics, this weekend is their optimal opportunity.
West Brom have hardly been awe inspiring this season and have only picked up three points in their last six away games, with those coming from draws rather than a win.
That makes them almost ideal opponents for McClaren’s side to be hosting at St James’ Park, and they will be hoping to start their push away from relegation with a win on Saturday afternoon.