‘Grumpy’ Steve McClaren is not feeling the heat ahead of Norwich City visit

Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren is not feeling the heat ahead of Norwich City's visit. Ph

Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren is not feeling the heat ahead of Norwich City's visit. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Steve McClaren admits he is sick and tired of feeling 'grumpy' over Newcastle United's winless start to the Premier League season ahead of Norwich City's visit to St James' Park.

The former England head coach, however, is not worried about his own perilous position or that of the Magpies despite a wretched start to his reign on Tyneside.

'I feel pressure all the time. Whether you are at the top, the bottom or the middle, the pressure is on you every game,' he said. 'It is difficult to win games in the Premier League as it is proving. We all want to win, we hate losing. We have to perform. If we do what we did in the first half against Chelsea we will win football matches. That's all we've said to the team.

'The (international) break has been good for us. The week after Manchester City was difficult for us, there were a lot of grumpy people, myself included. This week there has been an intensity and focus. I don't look (at the table). I have said before I don't look until 10 or 12 games in. It's a long season, the first eight games were always very tough and they have proved to be that. We've had setbacks and good performances.'

McClaren suffered another huge blow during the international shutdown with keeper Tim Krul ruled out for the season after suffering knee ligament damage playing for Holland. Rob Elliot will deputise against the Canaries.

'It is time for Rob Elliot to step forward and fill Tim's boots,' said McClaren. 'He has to step up and perform. Rob is in as good a condition as you can be without actually playing. He missed pre-season (through injury) but has trained the last few weeks. There was the possibility of Rob going out on loan but I said to keep him here because we like him.'

McClaren expects Elliot to be tested against a well-drilled Canaries' squad.

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'The key thing is we are at home against Norwich and we have to perform, we owe it to the crowd,' he said. 'Norwich have been very good. They've got the confidence of promotion and have added very well. They can be a real handful.

'We're at home against them, but it doesn't matter who the opponent is this weekend. We have to perform.'