Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Steve McClaren named Newcastle United head coach

AFP, LONDON

Former England manager Steve McClaren has been appointed as the new head coach of Newcastle United on an initial three-year contract, the English Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

McClaren, 54, succeeds John Carver, whose departure was confirmed earlier on Wednesday, and has a clause in his contract that could see it extended to eight years, the club said.

“I am privileged to be appointed head coach of Newcastle United. This is a big club with a wonderful heritage,” McClaren said in a statement on the Newcastle Web site. “St James’ Park is like a cathedral on a Saturday afternoon, a symbol for the city, and I am excited to be given this opportunity.”

The former England manager reportedly turned down an approach from Newcastle when the club’s former manager Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace in January, which saw Carver promoted from his role as assistant, but a return of three wins from 19 Premier League games nixed Carver’s hopes of securing the job on a permanent basis and with McClaren out of work following his sacking by Derby County last month, Newcastle went back to him.

Managing director Lee Charnley revealed that McClaren has been tasked to achieve a top-eight league finish and said that he is “heavily incentivized” to win the club’s first trophy since 1969.

“We recognize supporters’ strong desire to win a trophy, an ambition which the club now shares as [owner] Mike Ashley made clear in his comments on the final day of the season,” Charnley said. “Steve is excited by this and he has our full support in trying to achieve this goal.”

Newcastle, who only avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season, had earlier announced the exits of Carver and coach Steve Stone.

Charnley had earlier paid tribute to Carver, saying: “No one could have worked with more passion and enthusiasm than he did.”

Carver said it had been a “privilege” to serve the club.

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