LONDON (Reuters) – Newcastle United will have their captain and centre back Fabricio Coloccini available at home to Stoke City on Saturday after successfully appealing against his sending off last weekend, but manager Steve McClaren is still not happy.
He told a news conference on Friday that being proved right “makes it even worse — it spoilt the game”.
McClaren’s side had been on top against their great local rivals Sunderland until Coloccini was sent off for conceding a penalty from which the home team took the lead, going on to win 3-0 against United’s 10 men.
Victory moved Sunderland above their neighbours in the bottom three of the Premier League but McClaren’s consolation was the performance.
“If we perform like we did at Sunderland we will win eight or nine times out of 10,” he said.
“It’s been a good week, very focused and intense. We’ve been reflecting on one of the strangest derbies I’ve been involved in. We are not feeling sorry for ourselves.”
Both the north-eastern teams have six points, two more than bottom side Aston Villa and two fewer than Bournemouth.
“We will expect a vibrant, very good Stoke team,” former England manager McClaren added of Saturday’s opponents.
“They have an excellent manager and squad, taking the club forward, but we have shown what we are capable of doing.
“At times our football has been excellent and we are creating chances. The fans were excellent last week and we need that again.”
(Reporting by Steve Tongue; editing by Toby Davis)