McClaren looking forward to 2016


Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren cannot wait for next year after a poor 2015, which will end with the club in the Premier League relegation zone.

McClaren feels 2015 has been a year to forget for the club and said he was working hard to keep them in the top flight.

"I may seem calm on the surface but, believe me, underneath it I am paddling like mad," he said.

"[The year] is about to end. Good. We cannot wait for next year. The first half of the season has not been good enough. We need to do something about it and we will do."

Newcastle lost a tight game against West Brom 1-0 on Monday after Darren Fletcher's header slipped under goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who was a late replacement for the ill Rob Elliot.

Elliot reported for training on Wednesday but was promptly sent home by the club's medical staff as he continues to fight a stomach virus, meaning Darlow could be in goals for Newcastle's visit to Arsenal.

"Karl Darlow is a very good keeper and I have every confidence in him," McClaren said.

"The goal at West Brom was just one of those things that happen. Rob Elliot is not feeling too good but we are hoping he gets over his stomach bug in the next couple of days and is fit for Saturday."