Steve McClaren: Newcastle 'can be one of Europe's top 10 clubs'

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren guided FC Twente to the Dutch Eredivisie title in 2010

Head coach Steve McClaren says Newcastle United can become one of the "top 10 clubs in Europe".

Former England manager McClaren, 54, took over on Wednesday following the departure of interim boss John Carver earlier this week.

He has inherited a side that finished 15th in the Premier League table, albeit with average gates of 50,359.

"Speak to anyone in football, they'll say 'Newcastle United, what a big club'," McClaren told BBC Newcastle.

"It can be in the top 10 in Europe, it has the ability to do that."

McClaren's task is to turn potential into reality at a club which, despite passionate support, have not lifted any silverware since 1969 when they beat Hungarian side Ujpest Dozsa to win the old Inter-City Fairs Cup.

Why did McClaren stay loyal to Derby last season?
"It was very difficult, I knew there was interest.
"Was I interested? Of course I was, but in the end I owed a lot of loyalty to Derby, they took a chance on me.
"That wasn't official. In the end the decision was taken completely out of everybody's hands by (managing director) Lee Charnley, who stuck with John Carver, and the players - and rightly so."

The Magpies have reached the FA and League Cup finals since then, but none since losing to Manchester United in the former in 1999.

However, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who has stepped down from the board following McClaren's arrival, recently stated an intention to bring cup success to Tyneside, having previously insisted that league football "remained the priority".external-link

McClaren did win the League Cup with Middlesbrough in 2004, the first major trophy in the club's history, and he is determined to emulate that achievement as soon as possible.

"That's the aim, the dream of everybody," he added.

"We had that dream at Middlesbrough, when we came in and we achieved it, we need to achieve it.

"We only achieved that by everyone being together, getting everyone in the right direction and winning things is a long process."

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