The Newcastle manager admitted fears he may struggle to spark a response from his players after his midweek training ground rant only ended in a 5-1 thrashing at Crystal Palace.
McClaren unleashed some home truths following Newcastle’s 3-0 loss to Leicester at St James’ Park, only for his side to capitulate spectacularly at Selhurst Park.
Now McClaren accepts only a united front at board level will allow him to arrest Newcastle’s slide into the relegation mire, calling on “peer pressure” to take its grip among his squad.
“I think that’s the key thing, that there’s no panic,” said McClaren when asked if continued backing from Newcastle’s board would prove pivotal to Premier League survival.
“If there were eight games to go then people would, but we’re not.”
McClaren accepted he may not be able to read his players the riot act too often if the sole fruit is to slip deeper into trouble.
“Yeah it does, it makes it harder. But you just hope that every bad game, every bad result just makes them stronger in the end.
“The players have to learn quickly. The players aren’t doing it for each other at the moment.
“Sometimes it’s not about me, it’s about each other. And that’s a team.
“When you’re playing, you’ve been a coach or a manager, the dressing room is about peer pressure. It’s about pride, working for each other and not letting down the man next to you.
“At the present moment we’ve not got that.”
“The players lose heart easily: it’s not rocket science, everyone can see it and that’s what’s happening.
Yannick Bolasie and James McArthur both bagged goal braces in south London, with Wilfried Zaha also on target, after Papiss Cisse had put Newcastle ahead.
“There’s no extra satisfaction (in beating Newcastle),” insisted former Geordies boss Alan Pardew.
“It’s difficult to talk about the opposition, I love the staff and players who are there, and the fans.
“Whatever I say about that club it gets contrived. All I would say is I hope their fortunes improve going forward.
“Our players were really on it today – it was a pivotal game, whoever the opposition was, in our season.
“Were we going to become a mid-table team or were we going to put ourselves back in contention?
“And we’ve put ourselves back in among the Evertons and the Tottenhams.”
Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney,Souare, Cabaye (Lee 75), McArthur, Bolasie, Puncheon, Zaha (Jedinak 67), Wickham (Bamford 86).
Speroni, Ledley, Chamakh, Kelly.
Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett, Colback (De Jong 70), Anita, Sissoko, Perez (Lascelles 46), Wijnaldum (Gouffran 70), Cisse.
Thauvin, Darlow, Sterry, Mitrovic. Booked: Mbemba.