Steve McClaren says Newcastle need to ignore the critics and produce results after being lambasted for their trip to Spain.
The Toon have been criticised for using last week’s break in the fixtures to go to La Manga for a training camp, with the trip being perceived as a reward for an underperforming squad in some quarters.
McClaren has insisted the break was not a jolly though, putting the players through double training sessions during the week before rounding things off with a friendly against Lillestrom on Sunday.
The former England boss believes the training camp will have a positive impact on Newcastle’s fight for survival and expects his players to prove the trip was worthwhile.
He told the Chronicle: “We have to ignore the circus that goes around it. We have to focus and concentrate on what we can do. We have to ignore a lot of people and we do. The players have talked about that and realised the position we were in.
“Let’s not leave it to the last game like last season.”
McClaren was also keen to point out the benefits of the friendly encounter with Lillestrom, claiming his players were in need of some game time given their next match is not until March 2.
He added: “We wanted a game and desperately needed it.
“Everybody got minutes and worked hard. The change of environment was key for us, to get the players together and talking about the last 12 games and what we need to do was good.”