The former Derby County manager’s position at Newcastle became untenable following the 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth last weekend, leaving the club in 19th position in the Premier League table.
Despite their predicament, however, McClaren still remained confident he could steer the club out of trouble as he went on record to speak of the privilege of managing Newcastle in the top-flight.
“I am obviously very disappointed with the decision. I remain confident, however, that we would have stayed in the Premier League with a view to building for next season,” he explained.
“I would like to place on record what a privilege it has been to manage Newcastle United Football Club. It is a great a club - the embodiment of the city, with incredible supporters.”
“For every supporter of Newcastle United, I genuinely hope the club can produce the results I believe they are capable of, between now and the end of the season, to maintain their Premier League status.”
“Newcastle United is a club that must build for the long term to deliver what the supporters deserve – success and silverware.”
McClaren managed to win only seven of his 31 games in charge of Newcastle, a career low 22.6% win rate.
The club find themselves deep in the relegation mire and with games against Sunderland, Norwich City, Swansea City and Crystal Palace on the horizon, they must start picking up victories.
Under McClaren, confidence seem to be drained from the players and there was an almost resigned atmosphere around St. James’ Park that the Tyneside club were heading for the Championship.
Benitez’s appointment, however, will add fresh optimism around Newcastle while also striking fear in to their fellow relegation rivals Norwich and Sunderland as it’s looking like being two from three for the drop.