Steve McClaren has declared that he and his players ‘mean business’ this season.

Speaking at his pre Southampton press conference, the Newcastle Head Coach says he will still have pre match nerves despite his years of experience.

McClaren claims he is happy with his squad and how they’ve performed this summer but admits it is only once competitive games begin that he will know how battle ready the team is.

In terms of team selection, Steve McClaren says that he has still to decide whether to play Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba.

The former Anderlecht defender has only played half an hour of  United’s pre season friendlies, whilst Mitrovic has only featured in two of the games.

Due to the length of time it took to sort their transfers and visas, the two players were some distance behind their new teammates in terms of preparation for the season, as both players were left out of Anderlecht’s final few friendlies with deals imminent to take them to Newcastle.

Quotes released by NUFC from Steve McClare’s press conference earlier today:

“We mean business, irrespective of what happens on Sunday. We’ve stated that from day one. It’s a long season and that starts Sunday.

“I’ll be nervous on Sunday. If you don’t have those nerves and expectancy then it’s time to pack it in.”

Mitrovic and Mbemba:

“I’ve still got decisions to make regarding (the fitness of) Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba.

“I’m pleased with the work we’ve done, the squad and their attitude. We’ll only know if we’re ready on Sunday when the game begins.”

Last night brought the revelation that Newcastle United had banned Channel 4 News from today’s press conference, due to the broadcaster’s intention to ask a question regarding the banning of various journalists at NUFC, read more about that HERE.