Article continues below
Article continues below
Steve McClaren has not been at all surprised to see Jurgen Klopp make a flying start to his job at Liverpool.
The Newcastle head coach and his counterpart at Anfield go head-to-head at St James' Park on Sunday with the German having lost just once in his 11-game reign to date, culminating in a 6-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final win at Southampton in midweek.
By contrast, McClaren has tasted victory only three times in the 16 games in all competitions for which he has been charge on Tyneside.
But having come up against former Borussia Dortmund manager Klopp during his time at Wolfsburg, the 54-year-old fully expected him to make an instant impact.
McClaren said: "It doesn't surprise me. He's a quality coach. I know him well from Dortmund and Germany. I played against him a couple of times and they were a very good team.
"What Dortmund had, I can see that in the Liverpool team. It's coming and they demonstrated on Wednesday night what they are capable of doing. They have got good quality players who work very hard. He is doing a great job."
Liverpool currently sit in sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table just six points adrift of leaders Manchester City, while Newcastle are languishing in 19th following last weekend's 5-1 thumping at Crystal Palace.
But as both he and his players come under intense pressure, McClaren remains convinced that one positive result would turn their season around.
Asked about the mood within the camp, he said: "These players have taken a hit in the last two weeks, the club has and we all have. But it's focussed, it's focussed and determined.
"The players know and we know that with just one performance, one result, we can turn it around. When confidence comes back, we have got good players, good, talented, young players. As young players, they have got to go through that.
"Football is over a season. We knew there were problems, we knew we would have to build a new culture and environment and a way or working and playing. We knew that would take time and it's taking time.
"But what you are hoping and what you are looking for is the next performance, the next result to turn that around, and that 's how quickly it can be turned around, and Sunday is an opportunity to do that."
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms