New Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has been charged with the task of trying to win a trophy after finally giving the club the answer they wanted.
The Magpies ended a six-month pursuit of the former England manager on Wednesday evening when they announced his appointment as Alan Pardew’s replacement on a three-year deal which could eventually be extended to eight.
He took up the post having accepted the challenge of securing a top-eight Barclays Premier League finish and, perhaps more significantly in view of the club’s recent policy of treating the domestic cup competitions as an inconvenience, to attempt to bring a first trophy to St James’ Park in 46 years.
McClaren, who has also been appointed to the club’s board of directors, said: “I am privileged to be appointed head coach of Newcastle United FC. This is a big club with a wonderful heritage.
“St. James’ Park is like a cathedral on a Saturday afternoon, a symbol for the city, and I am excited to be given this opportunity. I know how important Newcastle United is to the city and the region.
“The supporters are some of the most loyal, passionate and devoted in the world. Despite everything, they maintain their faith. We owe it to them to do everything we can to reward them with success.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but the club has made it clear about wanting success, and I would not have come here if I didn’t believe they were serious. This club has waited far too long to win a trophy. That’s one of my primary objectives here.
“I’ve already won trophies as a manager and a club the size of Newcastle United should be winning cups and finishing in the top eight in the Premier League.
“I’m determined to give the supporters of Newcastle United a team they can be proud of. The hard work starts now.”
McClaren will join managing director Lee Charnley, chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur – the last Newcastle captain to lift a trophy in 1969 - on the board, with Ashley and finance director John Irving, who is to leave the club, stepping down.
Charnley said: “It was particularly important for us that the head coach also became a board member in order to gain a full understanding and appreciation for the club and its operations as a whole, not just the football side. In Steve, we have an individual that embraced that responsibility.”
The focus now will be appointing a backroom staff following the departures of John Carver and Steve Stone, and the business of re-shaping a squad which proved unfit for purpose last season.
Charnley added: “Our immediate focus will be on working with Steve to assess and improve upon our playing squad, as well as appointing individuals to his backroom staff.”