Despite putting six past Norwich City in a 6-2 victory a fortnight ago, the Magpies have drawn a blank in their last two matches. However, while they were outclassed by Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear Derby last weekend, they ought to have comfortably overcome the Potters at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
After the match, McClaren pointed the finger of blame at Stoke stopper Butland, who enjoyed a magnificent afternoon between the sticks, frustrating a handful of Newcastle frontmen.
“We are very frustrated. Butland stood between us and three points,” McClaren began after the match, as per Goal.
“There were four incredible saves. The future is bright for England goalkeepers and I know that because I had him at Derby. He was excellent then and he’s even better now. He got Stoke a point,” the coach continued.
“He was excellent. Goalkeepers are there to win you points and that is what Butland does.
“We are frustrated, but the performance carried on from last week. We dominated. Important we kept a clean sheet, played good football and created chances. The first goal is always important and when we didn’t get it in spells when we were on top we got frustrated.
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“But we kept it going and had chances at the end. Credit to the players. We keep going like this and we will be okay. Everybody can see that the team is growing and that we are making progress. The team showed great character.”
The result leaves Newcastle in 18th place in the Premier League at the end of play on Saturday, with the Magpies having accrued only seven points from their opening 11 league matches.
Under McClaren, the Magpies have won only one match—the victory over Norwich—and they could end the gameweek at the bottom of the pile should Sunderland and Aston Villa win their matches on Sunday and Monday respectively.