Steve McClaren admits Newcastle is “not an easy football club” but denies it’s a “bonkers” place to work.
He was asked whether it took a great deal of adjustment to work for a club perceived as a basket case and he replied: “It’s not so bonkers when you work inside this place. It looks it, though, doesn’t it, from the outside?
“It’s not an easy football club, as you and we all know, but that’s the situation we’re in.
“I think the players know that and I think the new ones that came in during the summer are adapting to that. I think it can be a culture shock to them but I fully expect us to be stronger in the second half of the season than we’ve been in the first half.
When asked if there was a problem with foreign players not understanding the size of the club, McClaren said: “I don’t think so, no. Definitely not. I think everybody knows what Newcastle is about.
“We show them films about the club and its history. It’s not rocket science – but every club is saying the same thing.
“When you cross the while line here and there’s 52,000 people – you’ve got to have some courage to do that. I admire the players for that, for being able to handle it.
“The reason we’re in the trouble that we’re in is that they haven’t been able to put in a performance week in, week out which the fans expect.”