Press Association Steve McClaren is looking for a second-half resurgence after seeing Newcastle stutter through the opening months of the Barclays Premier League season. The head coach said: “It is like a football match – we are coming to the end of the first half and two halves are completely different, and we hope our second half will be better. “There are still 20 games to go, so still plenty. Hopefully the second half will be better.” Newcastle would have been a point better off and out of the bottom three had Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley not steered home a header deep into injury time to snatch victory. McClaren and his staff now face the task of lifting their players both mentally and physically for the clash with the Baggies. The 54-year-old said: “It’s a big test for us on Monday and whoever travels to West Brom, we need the crowd as well. “I thought they were great at the end showing their appreciation. It’s about performance because if we carry on like that, we will win games and collect points. “West Brom is a mentality test as much as a physical one. We will try to recover, get some energy into them and I might have to use the squad, but we have to get on with it.” The Magpies have taken just one point from their last two games, but at least have keeper Rob Elliot in fine form after he once again demonstrated his ability to deputise for the injured Tim Krul with a series of fine saves against the Toffees. McClaren said: “I said at the time it was up to him and come in and get us the points Tim would have got us and in recent weeks, he has certainly earned his corn. He did that and it is just disappointing for him that he didn’t get the point. “He has stepped in and done the job and done very well, and not just between the sticks. He has great experience, he’s a good talker in the dressing room and a great asset for us.” A 1-0 Boxing Day defeat by Everton at St James’ Park sends the Magpies into Monday’s trip to West Brom with just 17 points from their opening 18 league games – in the relegation zone, if only on goal difference. McClaren’s men will need to make a significant improvement over the remaining months of the campaign if they are to avoid a season-long survival fight, and he will hope that starts at The Hawthorns.
Published on November 12, 2016 at 12:22 am Contact Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org | @pschweds Syracuse kicked off its season in grand fashion on Friday night, taking down Colgate (0-1), 83-55, in the Carrier Dome. No. 19 SU (1-0) was led by Tyler Roberson’s 18 points, Frank Howard’s nine assists and a defense that held the Raiders to just 7.1 percent from 3 in the second half.Here are three things we learned from the season opener.Syracuse’s press didn’t work to Jim Boeheim’s likingAs the Orange deployed several times throughout its two exhibition games, SU went with the press again on Friday night. It began against Colgate right after the under-eight minute mark media timeout with 7-foot-2 Paschal Chukwu at center and the speedy John Gillon at point guard. Those two players fit well into the scheme on paper because Gillon can scoot around the court and chase the ball quickly while Chukwu’s size gives him a chance to protect the rim on long breakout passes.The Orange had 10 steals and forced 14 turnovers but head coach Jim Boeheim still wasn’t happy with how the scheme was executed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We were so bad I wanted to keep trying it to see if it would get any better. It didn’t,” Boeheim said. “It was horrendous. … If that’s the extent to what we can do with the press, you won’t see it much after this.”A reporter then asked why it was ineffective.“I guess they can’t do it. Why did Donald Trump become president? I don’t know.”John Gillon and Frank Howard can play together, but it likely won’t be for longOn multiple occasions point guards John Gillon and Frank Howard were on the court together. Though it was never for long spurts, the duo gave Syracuse an interesting look. Both are capable of handling the ball and both have the ability to shoot from the perimeter. They each knocked down a 3 off an assist from the other.Gillon said he enjoys playing at the same time as Howard because they both have diverse skill sets.Boeheim mentioned after Tuesday’s exhibition against Le Moyne that having both in together would be a possibility. On Friday, he reiterated that point but said it’s unlikely to happen often.“I don’t think they’ll play together that much,” Boeheim said. “They could. I just don’t think they’ll play together that much.”Syracuse’s rebounding still needs some workThe Orange outrebounded Colgate, 46-40, and lost the rebounding battle by two, 23-21, in the second half alone. Considering the Raiders’ tallest player, Dana Batt, stands at just 6 feet 9 inches, Syracuse had a chance to feast on the boards. SU’s roster includes Chukwu, the tallest player in program history, 6-foot-10 Taurean Thompson, 6-foot-9 Tyler Lydon and 6-foot-9 Dajuan Coleman.But Syracuse barely won the rebounding battle and Boeheim made a note of it after the game.“Didn’t really do a good job on the boards,” Boeheim said. “We’ve got to rebound the ball better. Got obviously, especially with a size advantage, we’ve got to take advantage of that and we didn’t.”Thompson led the way for SU with seven boards while Lydon and Coleman each had six boards. Against bigger and tougher competition, Syracuse will almost certainly need to have a better performance on the glass. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+