"Not just at Newcastle but retaining the enthusiasm he has for the game coupled with his energy and personality.
"He’s an absolute credit, a tremendous advert for football and managers and how they should be.
"I hope my wife’s not listening to this, but if I still retain the energy and the enthusiasm, then it’s something that’s in the blood.
"That’s why Sir Alex (Ferguson) did an about-turn and wanted to stay on because what else is there to do?
"I think Bobby’s the same. As long as you’ve got that energy and enthusiasm and you’re surrounded by people who make it fun to come to work with and you’re having success, which he is, then I think why stop?"
McClaren also reserved special praise for Jermaine Jenas, for whom he predicts a bright future, and Alan Shearer.
"He’s the perfect example. How long has he been in the game? How many goals has he scored? How many clubs has he been to?" he said of the former England captain.
"He’s given good service to his country, he’s never one ounce of trouble. He’s the perfect professional on and off the field, and he’s a good player with it.
"Newcastle have great leaders in Shearer and (Gary) Speed coupled with all the young players around them, and the main thing is that they look up to those players, respect them – you can see that."
Very nice of you to say so Steve, but we’ll take those three points tonight if you don’t mind!
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