Magpies show McClaren the door

Steve McClaren has become the sixth managerial casualty in the Premier League this season after he was sacked by Newcastle United on Friday.

Saturday’s 1-3 defeat at home to Bournemouth was the final straw for the Magpies board, who met earlier this week to discuss the manager’s future.

McClaren continued to take training during the week, but was finally relieved of his duties on Friday, with the team a point adrift of safety in 19th place with 10 games remaining in the Premier League campaign.

The former England boss lasted just 10 months at St James’ Park, having signed a three-year deal with the Tynesiders in the off-season, but managed just six wins in 28 league outings.

A statement from the Toon read: “After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday, the club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren’s employment with the club will end with immediate effect.

“We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise.

“However, we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the club at heart.”

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley added: “I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.

“Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.

“We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future. A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course.”

Rafael Benitez, who has been out of a job since being sacked by Real Madrid in January, is the favourite to replace McClaren at the struggling north-east club.