Ray Parlour on McClaren, highlights major difference between Newcastle and Sunderland

Steve McClaren

Ray Parlour is worried that Steve McClaren's ideas aren't going through to Newcastle's players.

Former Arsenal star and current pundit Ray Parlour has told Sky Sports that he thinks Newcastle aren't showing enough fight - but Sunderland are.

The Magpies were beaten 3-1 at home by Bournemouth to leave them second bottom of the Premier League table, with the pressure mounting on beleaguered manager Steve McClaren, less than a year since his arrival from Derby County.

Many expect McClaren to lose his job at some stage this week, with Newcastle perilously close to being relegated to the Championship for the second time in seven years and in need of change to avoid the drop.

Conversely, their North East rivals Sunderland are showing some signs of life under former Magpies boss Sam Allardyce, who was appointed back in October following the departure of Dutchman Dick Advocaat.

They may have only drawn 1-1 at Southampton on Saturday, but they are picking up valuable points in their own fight against relegation, and now sit one point clear of the bottom three.

Sunderland's next Premier League game is in fact away at Newcastle, and whilst the Magpies face a trip to Premier League leaders Leicester City next Monday, that Tyne-Wear derby at St. James' Park could have a huge say on the battle against relegation.

Now, pundit Ray Parlour has suggested to Sky Sports that under-fire McClaren is a good coach, as seen during his time at Middlesbrough, but thinks that the Newcastle players aren't responding to his ideas.

Parlour also claims that Newcastle aren't showing enough fight, and the big difference between themselves and Sunderland is that the Black Cats are displaying some battling qualities in a bid to avoid the drop.

"He's a good coach, there's no doubt about that," said Parlour on McClaren.. "He's got good ideas, but it's about getting that across to the players. Middlesbrough were very successful under him, they got to the final of the UEFA Cup. I just worry about the team and how they're responding to him at the moment. Are they showing enough fight if you're in a relegation battle? I don't think they are."

"Sunderland are certainly showing enough fight. Certainly, at the moment, with the way Newcastle are playing and the fact that their away form has been horrendous, they'll be going down," he added.

Do you think Sunderland are better than Newcastle?

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch