Carragher says McClaren's Newcastle target which he gave up on was always doomed

Jamie Carragher

Pundit says Steve McClaren's target at Newcastle United was always doomed.

Jamie Carragher has told SkySports that Steve McClaren had 'no chance' of acheiving his aim of making Newcastle a top eight club.

McClaren made the comments after his appointment, telling The Guardian that he did not want the side to be battling relegation.

He said: "It’s much better to be sitting down with the players saying we’ve got to win something and get in that top eight than saying: ‘We’ve got to stay in this league."

Speaking yesterday, Carragher told SkySports he agreed Newcastle should not be in the position they are in, 19th in the Premier League, but a top eight finish was too unrealistic.

He said: "The quality of player they have there they shouldn't be fighting relegation or be second bottom of the league. They're certainly not a top eight team, which was a requirement of Steve McClaren - there was no chance of that.

"But they've got better quality than where they should be and Benitez will be hoping to bring that out in the next 10 games."

Newcastle got off to a poor start to the season, and by October, Steve McClaren had given up on his target. Whether this was something his players needed to hear publicly is another matter.

He told The Mail at the time: "At the present moment, being in the top eight is miles away. The most important thing – and this is probably true for 10 or 11 of the clubs in the league – is to get to 40 points."

Newcastle have 10 games to stay in the Premier League, travelling to leaders Leicester City this evening hoping to spring an upset, with new boss Rafa Benitez in charge after he was confirmed as McClaren's replacement on Friday.

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