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Published: 20:07 | 13/2/16

Steve McClaren: We caused our own problems

Newcastle hammered 5-1 by Chelsea

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren blamed his side’s defensive frailties for their disappointing 5-1 hammering by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

McClaren was without a host of defensive regulars and his side paid the full price with Chelsea running riot in the opening 15 minutes.

“We lost the game in the first 15 minutes. We got exposed on quite a few occasions in terms of defensive frailities. Rolando Aarons had to play at left-back and it was Steven Taylor's second game in six months.

"We caused our own problems. We knew Chelsea would come out quick. They wanted to win that game by half-time with the week they have ahead of them.

The Magpies slipped into the Premier League relegation zone after the defeat, but McClaren is adamant that the defeat will not derail his side.

“You get one or two of these games a season. I've told the players don’t let that derail us. It was damage limitation by half-time. I just wanted to make sure we scored a goal and stayed in the game.

"We have 18 days now – three or four players should return from injury and we can work on others in terms of fitness, and getting some defenders back in.

"We are getting a consistency at home but we need to pick up some points away from home. There are 12 cup finals to come. We’ve got to stay calm and stable."

Guus Hiddink, on the other hand, was delighted with his side’s performance after Chelsea picked up their first home win under the stewardship of the Dutchman.

"We can be pleased with the performance of the guys. We tried to surprise them in the beginning. Happily it worked out.

"It's important for the way we played, not just in attack. The players also have to do defensive work and that is where we are aiming and then the quality comes out."

There was some bad news for the Blues with the sight of John Terry limping off injured and Hiddink admitted that he was unsure if the captain will be available for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with PSG.

"We have just two days to recover [before playing PSG in the Champions League] and it is something to think about in the future because two days of recovery is not enough."

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