Steve McClaren is confident he is building something at Newcastle, even if he still has a long way to go.
The Magpies’ new head coach will send out his team at West Ham on Monday night still looking for a first Barclays Premier league win of the season after creditable draws with Southampton and Manchester United and defeats by Swansea and Arsenal in which they played for long periods with only 10 men.
However, while in other years a return of just two points from a possible 12 and a place inside the bottom three might have set the alarm bells ringing, fans buoyed by a summer investment of in excess of £50m are remaining patient, and McClaren believes their faith will be repaid.
He said: “We hear it, but also we feel it within the club. We feel we’re establishing – and it’s going to be slow – but we’re establishing what we want to be about, and we’re establishing a platform.
“We have seen enough evidence of that in all the four games. We have played two games with 10 men and you are not going to create a lot and score a lot of goals doing that against that quality of team.
“We have defended well, we have shown great spirit, and I think that’s probably what the public has taken on board, that kind of spirit. And the players have taken on board that kind of atmosphere that they created in not just the first game, but definitely the Arsenal game.
“There are not many times that you do lose a game at home and the supporters appreciate the work, commitment and spirit that the players have shown.”
That game saw Newcastle lose 1-0 to Arsenal at St James’ Park having had striker Aleksandar Mitrovic sent off with just 16 minutes played, and the Serbia international will be suspended for the trip to Upton Park and the two games which follow it.
In his absence, McClaren could turn to Papiss Cisse once again, or hand youngster Ayoze Perez a chance as he attempts to find a consistency which has so far eluded not only his side, but in his opinion, many of their competitors.
McClaren said: “I have got to say, I have looked around the Premier League and everybody is a little bit inconsistent at the moment, there are only one or two teams really getting that consistency.
“That’s because of the build-up, the short pre-season. It’s not been good for all the teams, I don’t think anybody is firing 100% at the present moment.”