In the coming days, Newcastle United are counting on two more central defenders becoming options for the opening match against Southampton in 10 days time.

Whilst results aren’t a great guide in pre season, performances must be seen as a pointer , and the centre of defence has looked by far the biggest weakness over these six friendlies.

Wednesday night was no different with Jamaal Lascelles at fault for both goals at York City, the second in particular seeing a York trialist leave him looking off the pace and ponderous as he scored the winner (watch it HERE).

Whilst on Sunday, Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson also looked way below the standard needed if Newcastle are to correct an abysmal defensive record, which saw only bottom club QPR concede more goals last season.

However, Steve McClaren is now counting on Chancel Mbemba getting the blessing of the FA panel for his work visa when they meet today:

“I hope so. I think it (FA panel decision) is going to be positive and we hope to confirm that (Mbemba’s signing) soon.”

The Newcastle Head Coach says he is also desperate to get Fabricio Coloccini involved, this being despite it being to a backdrop of media claims that Newcastle are happy to sell him if the right offer comes in

Steve McClaren:

“We want to see him out on the pitch and we have to get to that situation very soon.

“He has done very well in training, he has got a little niggle (Achilles problem) but we want to see him playing because he is the captain – he plays a vital role.”