James McClean: Don't call us snakes if we leave West Brom

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

James McClean has admitted a lot of Albion players will be hoping for a move in the summer because they've got to look after themselves 'first and foremost'.

Deandre Yedlin of Newcastle United and James McClean of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

In a remarkably candid admission, McClean says he's expecting an exodus this summer if Albion go down as players search for Premier League football.

But he's urged supporters not to label those who do leave as 'snakes' who have taken the club for a ride.

"Everyone wants to play Premier League football so I do think there will obviously be a lot of people looking at their next move or their future come the summer if the inevitable happens and we do go down," McClean told Sky Sports, in the build-up to the Newcastle game.

"The fans just see it as if you do go down and players leave then you're a snake, or you've taken the club for a ride and this and that.

"But we've got families as well, we need to look after them. We've also got a career to look after as well, we want to be the best we can be. You have to look after yourself first and foremost."

McClean has endured a frustrating season at the Baggies, and struggled to hold down a place in the starting line-up under Tony Pulis or Alan Pardew.

Although he's started all four of Darren Moore's games, his comments suggest there is no guarantee he will stay on next season.

Burnley were interested in him last summer, when Albion rejected an £8m bid from the Clarets, and the 29-year-old has a long-held desire to play north of the border for Celtic.


Albion kept their slim survival hopes alive for another week with a 1-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday.

But after Southampton beat Bournemouth, it would need a remarkable set of results to go their way to keep them up.

Moore has reinvigorated the team and the club in his short spell in charge, and when McClean was asked why the team had enjoyed a mini-resurgence in the past four games, he said: "Change of manager for starters, not to dig at Alan.

"Since the big man's come in – I said it after the United game – look on the pitch now we know what we're doing.


"People from the outside will say you're professional footballers, you should know what you're doing anyway.

"We were told to go out and play but we didn't really work on how we play that way.

"We were told to play with more freedom, but you've got a group of players who, under our previous manager Tony, were more defensive and a lot more drilled.

"We were told to go out and play a different way without really working on that."

When asked what the caretaker's message to the squad has been, McClean said: "Strength and unity.

"It's always difficult when you're bottom of the league, you're low on confidence, so he just gave everyone a confidence boost, reminded everyone they were good players."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.


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