McClaren feels Newcastle criticism is harsh

Steve McClaren called on Newcastle United supporters to 'stick together' and described their criticism of his team as 'very harsh' after they were dumped out of the FA Cup.

Steve McClaren Newcastle United FA Cup

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren Source: Getty Images

The Magpies, who have now lost their last five third-round ties in the competition, suffered a fourth consecutive 1-0 defeat after losing at Watford.

Newcastle dominated much of the game and created a host of good chances, but they were made to rue a miss a misplaced backpass by Georginio Wijnaldum, which was coolly converted by Troy Deeney shortly before half-time.

And McClaren's side, who are 18th in the Premier League, were emphatically booed at the final whistle by their frustrated visiting support.

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"I thought it was very harsh," said McClaren when asked about the response from the away fans at Vicarage Road.

"We're all angry and frustrated. The players in there, believe you me, they're disappointed.

"We've performed today on a difficult pitch, in difficult circumstances, and I think we've dominated and controlled the game. We can't ask anymore.

"Fifty thousand people have to get behind this team and support this team. We have to stick together. I know it's difficult, it's difficult for all of us to show a little bit of patience, but there's work going on and Tuesday at Manchester United is the next challenge for us.

"I cannot fault the players, but that is four 1-0 defeats we have had, but everybody can see that the team is not far away from doing something."

Second-half substitute Florian Thauvin, who arrived from Marseille for a reported $25 million in the northern summer, was subjected to the worst of the taunts from the dispirited Newcastle support, with some sections of the crowd chanting, "You're not fit to wear the shirt" at the young Frenchman.

He also appeared to be booed when he went over to applaud the travelling section at the end of the match.

"He's a young kid who's just coming in and he's got to adapt to this kind of thing and we're certainly behind the scenes supporting him," McClaren said of the 22-year-old.

"We wanted to win, I think we played to win and we went to win. I don't think we can do much more apart from stick the ball in the back of the net."

Watford rested four players - including Odion Ighalo, scorer of 14 goals this term - ahead of the Cup clash.

And, despite being on the back foot for large periods of the game, Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores was delighted with his team's progression to the fourth round.

"We are very happy because we are in the next round and that was the target," said Flores, whose team bounced back from consecutive defeats against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City over the festive period.

"We respect the Cup and we try to put out the best team that is possible. We try to be competitive in every competition so for us it is a very happy day."


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3 min read
Published 10 January 2016 at 7:16am
By Philip Duncan
Source: PA Sport