Steve Claridge says Steve McClaren is solely responsible for Newcastle's predicament

Pundit blames Steve McClaren for Newcastle United's woes.

BBC pundit Steve Claridge says Newcastle United's problems this season lie entirely at the door of former boss Steve McClaren.

Claridge, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live's Monday Night Club (9/5), said that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley held up his end of the deal by putting money up to invest in the team.

McClaren spent in excess of £80 million yet left the team in real danger of relegation, and replacement Rafa Benitez has himself struggled to pick up the pieces.

Claridge said: "Mike Ashley has given the money to sign players. There is only one man responsible, Steve McClaren.

"It's an incredible under achievement. How [has] he managed to get that side into the bottom three? There was a lack of belief, lack of focus among group of players, obviously a lack of belief in what Steve McClaren was doing."

McClaren was fired with 10 games remaining, and while Newcastle have had a few promising results of late, their good work was undone by one poor game against Aston Villa at the weekend.

They could be relegated in midweek if Sunderland beat Everton, already one point ahead with a game in hand, with the Black Cats pulling off a surprise win over Chelsea at the weekend.


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