Steve McClaren waits on Newcastle verdict

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren was back at work yesterday morning but his future at the club remains in doubt.
Steve McClaren waits on Newcastle verdict

McClaren arrived at the club’s Darsley Park training headquarters early, ready to put his players through their paces as usual at 10.30am.

There was a brief flurry of excitement when his car left again at around 9am, as reports claimed McClaren had departed, although it emerged that it was his driver and not the 54-year-old who was behind the wheel.

It is understood McClaren was treating the day as business as usual, although a decision on his future is likely to be made within the next 48 hours.

Newcastle, who lie just one place off the foot of the Premier League table with 10 games of their season remaining, are in serious danger of slipping out of the top flight for the second time in seven years.

They have won only once in their last six league games and were humbled 3-1 by Bournemouth at St James’ Park on Saturday, when the crowd turned on McClaren for the first time.

The club’s board, with the conspicuous absence of the head coach, met away from Tyneside on Monday with managing director Lee Charnley, chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur discussing possible ways forward.

They have to decide whether to take a gamble on leaving McClaren at the helm, or to replace him with time running out fast in a season which will determine whether they receive a full share of the new £5.14bn (6.63bn) broadcast deal next season.

David Moyes, Rafael Benitez and Nigel Pearson could head the list of potential candidates if they opt to sack McClaren.

McClaren’s position is complicated by the fact that he was the choice of Charnley, rather than owner Mike Ashley, and dismissing him now would be viewed as an admission of failure on his part.

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