By Coral Barry

Steve Claridge has launched a scathing attack on Steve McClaren after Newcastle’s 1-0 loss to Stoke leaves the Magpies stranded in the relegation zone.

An 80th minute goal from Xherdan Shaqiri snatched a win for the Potters at the Brittana Stadium on Wednesday night in the Premier League.

The result is Newcastle’s sixth successive away league defeat, leaving the Magpies with just 24 points after 27 games and Claridge voiced his astonishment considering what he feels is a quality Newcastle side.

“How can Newcastle be bottom three? I can’t have that,” said Claridge on BBC Radio 5 live after the full-time whistle.

“Just with the players he’s got and the quality he has there, to be bottom three you’ve got to look at the manager and say ‘what are you doing here because you’re not getting it right?'”

“Last time they went down it was the best team ever to go down. This will certainly be the best squad if they get relegated.”

McClaren took over the Newcastle reigns in the summer and spent heavily in the January transfer window buying midfielders Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend.

Jonjo Shelvey

Saviour Shelvey: the midfielder captained Newcastle in their loss to Stoke

Both players cost in the region of £12 million each, but Newcastle have lost three out of their last four games.

They sit second from bottom on goal difference, with Norwich and Sunderland above them, also on 24 points.

Newcastle must welcome Sunderland to St James’ Park on March 20th and will also have to travel to clash with Norwich on April 2nd.

The Magpies’ next match though is a visit to Bournemouth on Saturday.