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Published: 14:06 | 16/12/15

McLaren thought about wholesale changes

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has revealed he considered dropping his entire starting XI ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool.

The Magpies went into the game without a win since October but they pulled off a shock to defeat the Reds 2-0 at St James' Park.

Having lost 5-1 to Crystal Palace on November 28, McClaren contemplated making a raft of changes ahead of the visit of Liverpool but decided to give his players the chance to make amends.

"We have been looking at various things. Changing the personnel. I considered leaving out every one of them!" McClaren explained.

"On Thursday evening we slept on it and said, 'Well, that team, more or less, that started the last six or seven games, were collecting points'. It was a case of people outrunning opponents. Being competitive. We gave everyone the chance to put it right.

"It has been a tough two weeks. The team have taken a lot of criticism - rightly so. We have no qualms. The only response you can give is on the pitch. We said you have to out-work Liverpool. Then you have a chance of winning."

McClaren believes the win will give his side the confidence they need to start producing results.

"We believe in this team and these players. They are young and confidence can be knocked easily and drained," he said.

"In terms of me personally, it saves me from banging my head against the wall and wondering what to do next week.

"This team has talent and ability and when they show belief and confidence, they showed they are good players."

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