No pressure on Maccarone - McClaren
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 23-year-old hit four goals in his first eight games, but he has now gone four games without hitting the back of the net.
McClaren, though, states there is no pressure on his record signing.
"The only pressure on him is to perform like he can," he said.
"If he keeps working hard he will get chances.
"He was unlucky in our 2-0 defeat at Newcastle - he could have had a hat-trick. Maybe he could get one against Liverpool.
"It wasn't long ago they were saying Michael Owen was in a rut. But he has scored something like 10 goals in 12 games since.
"Even when he was getting criticised, if you looked at his overall record, he'd got something like 30 in 45 games.
"If that's a rut I wish my strikers were in it.
"People talked about Michael turning it round and my strikers also need to do that - then Massimo will start to score.
"Massimo has had a few knocks and rejections. It has hardened his resolve to make it.
"Michael's had plaudits and recognition from an early age and that's harder.
"You have to find it within yourself to live up to all the expectation. But you can see how he has done that."