Steve McClaren's Former Player Labels Newcastle's Next Boss As "Good Defensive Coach"

He looks like getting the job - but is "defensive" what Newcastle really want?

Newcastle United look set to appoint Steve McClaren as their new head coach imminently - and he has been labelled as a "good defensive coach" by a one of his former players at Derby County. Although Craig Forsyth - who began life as a left-midfielder but was moved to left-back by McClaren during his time at the iPro Stadium - was generally positive in his appraisal of his former boss, this description of the ex-England manager is unlikely to excite Magpies supporters. For a side who conceded 63 goals in the Premier League last season, the second highest in the division, you might think that would be music to Newcastle fans' ears.
But the Toon faithful's expectations were raised by Mike Ashley's interview before the final game of the Premier League season in which he promised "investment" in the side, as well as the tentative approach the club made to Patrick Vieira about becoming their next head coach. However, those hopes have been tempered somewhat by the uninspiring - if safe -decision to hand over the reins to McClaren, with the ex-Boro boss expected to be named as Alan Pardew's permanent successor within the next week. McClaren reportedly twice rejected the opportunity to take over at the Magpies - both in January and then with three games to go in their disastrous Premier League season - and instead decided to remain at the Rams. Yet his sacking at the Midlands club last week has put him back in the frame and he is widely expected to be the next Newcastle boss.
And, when Forsyth was asked about his former manager, he told The Herald:
"I think I came on a lot under Steve so it€™s sad to see him go. That was the club's decision, not mine. Steve brought on my game to a different level just by playing regular and with his coaching which helped me develop. "I would say that defensively was the main area where I improved - having played further forward before, to move back to full-back, he helped me defensively. "He has a reputation for being a good defensive coach and I€™d vouch for that. "I'd probably say he turned me into an international player along with playing regularly in the Championship and in a good team."
McClaren's strengths as a defensive coach may stop them leaking as many at the back, but is that really what Newcastle supporters want right now? CLICK HERE to read 16 Things Newcastle Fans Need To Know About Steve McClaren.Or CLICK HERE to read 10 Players Steve McClaren Could Bring With Him To Newcastle.For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to follow on Twitter and Facebook.

NUFC editor for History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.