Pressure remains on Newcastle's Steve McClaren, Rudi Garcia an option

St James Park Two

HITC Sport understands that Newcastle could still axe head coach.

Newcastle United could decide to axe Steve McClaren within weeks if they do not pull away from the relegation zone.

The victory over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend was only their sixth of the season and move them one point and one place above the relegation zone.

But the pressure remains on McClaren to continue pushing away from the bottom three and sources close to the club's hierarchy have told HITC Sport that owner Mike Ashley will accept NO excuses when it comes to relegation.

"At the start of the season and despite stepping back from the board, Mike made one thing clear - the club cannot be relegated this year, hence the spending - he has not been happy," the source confirmed.

Since taking charge of the club, and although not all his picks, McClaren has seen over £80 million invested over the past two transfer windows - but still they are entrenched in the bottom three with just a handful of wins all season.

No Newcastle manager in history, even Kevin Keegan when he almost led the club to Premier League glory, has had as much money as McClaren has had.

Newcastle have already been looking at alternatives and compiling a hit-list, as Ashley could pull the trigger on McClaren at any time.

One name who could very well appeal is former Roma coach Rudi Garcia, who recently left the Italian giants - despite leading them to runner-up spots in the last two seasons.

Garcia, who is still regarded very highly in Europe for the work he did at Lille, where he won the French title, is likely to be their main target.

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